The source of our vision for a better world is older than time itself. Throughout the ages, people have been waiting, hoping and praying for a Promised One who would unite the world and bring peace and prosperity to humanity.
On May 23, 1844, in a quiet upstairs room in Shiraz, Iran, an individual called the Báb (the Gate) declared that the time had come for the Promised One to appear. This was the dawn of a new Day that many had been waiting for. His announcement stirred people’s souls. He soon attracted a large number of adherents and followers who rapidly spread His message throughout the land. This sudden upheaval in the status quo alarmed the clergy and political leaders, who did everything in their power to extinguish the light of the Báb. They emprisoned, tortured, and finally killed Him, as well as His followers by the hundreds and thousands.
One of the Bab’s followers was given the title Bahá’u’lláh (The Glory of God). Deep in the darkness of the worst prison of the realm, Bahá’u’lláh received a Revelation that was to ultimately unite humanity. He summarized his message to the world in these words:
“This is the Day in which God’s most excellent favours have been poured out upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all created things. It is incumbent upon all the peoples of the world to reconcile their differences, and, with perfect unity and peace, abide beneath the shadow of the Tree of His care and loving-kindness.”1
Bahá’u’lláh spent His life in exile, as a prisoner. Yet He was able to proclaim His message to kings, clerics, and commoners, and share His vision of a united world with His followers. Filled with love for God and confidence in the future, these valiant souls travelled throughout the Middle East carrying with them this message of hope for humanity.
The first to believe in Bahá’u’lláh was his son, who took the title ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, which means Servant of the Glory. Among the services that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá rendered was to interpret the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, and encourage His followers to carry the message around the world. This they have done, and today we find followers of Bahá’u’lláh in every continent, country, and island, in large cities and remote villages. About 70 years ago this message, this vision of a better, united world, came to Halton Hills.
1. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 6