Virgin Islands Baha’is will join millions of fellow believers in universally celebrating the births of Bahá’u’lláh, founder of their Faith, and the Báb, his forerunner, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. For Bahá’ís, these two days are “as one in the sight of God.”
The Bahá’í Faith teaches that “the reality of Divinity is like an endless ocean.” Religion is an outward expression of that ocean. From it precedes a never-ending “process of progressive Revelation.” Divine Educators, who perfectly reflect into the world the will, attributes and qualities of God, appear from that ocean in cycles of approximately 1,000 years.
Each Educator renews eternal spiritual truths and reveals social and moral teachings suited for that age and man’s capacity to understand. They include Adam, Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. Their teachings unfold, as chapters in an endless book, providing the foundation for religion and civilization.
Bahá’u’lláh, who publically announced his Revelation in 1863, is the most recent of these Divine Educators. This chapter of progressive Revelation opened with the Báb, who, in 1844, began a new religious movement in Iran. The purpose of the Báb’s Revelation was to prepare the world for the Promised One of All Ages, Bahá’u’lláh. The Báb’s religion swept through Iran like wildfire. The fear and apprehension it caused among the political and religious leaders resulted in the public execution of the Bab by firing squad in 1850, and the imprisonment and exile of Baha’u’llah for reminder of His earthly life.
Even though the Báb established a new religion, revealed a Holy Book, laws and calendar, he considered Himself Baha’u’llah’s forerunner. The Báb’s Dispensation “together with that of Bahá’u’lláh’s…form one entity, the former being introductory to the advent of the latter.” They are one complete whole and cannot be divorced from each other.
Bahá’u’lláh abrogated many of the laws and teachings of the Báb, but adopted, with appropriate changes, His calendar. The Badi calendar, meaning unique or wonderful, is based on a solar rather than a lunar year. It has 19 months each with 19 days and begins on the Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring, generally March 20 or March 21. It designates Holy Days, a period of fasting, and significant events in the history of the lives of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, including Their births.
The Bahá’ís of the Virgin Islands invite the community to join them on these two Holy Days to celebrate this sacred moment and to strengthen with them the devotional and social life of the community.
On St. Croix, the Birth of The Bab will be celebrated at 6 p.m. on Nov. 1 at the Baha’i Center in Frederiksted. The Birth of Baha’u’llah will be held in Christiansted from 4-6 p.m., on Nov. 2 at the JFK Community Center. On St. John, call 714-1641 for information on the celebration. On St. Thomas, the Birth of The Bab will be celebrated at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 at the Baha’i National Center, 129 Contant; the Birth of Baha’u’llah will also be held there at 7:30 pm. on Nov. 1.
For more information, call 776-7024 on St. Thomas, 772-3827 on St. Croix or (284) 340-8014 in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Please visit www.bahai.org for further information on the Bahá’í Faith.
According to the Muslim lunar calendar, applicable throughout much of East, the births of the Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb, although in different months, fall on consecutive days. Because the Bahá’í calendar is based on a solar year and the Twin Holy Birthdays are based on a lunar year, these days have not been observed universally on consecutive days during the same month. In 2015, The Universal House of Justice, the highest elected authority of the Bahá’í Faith, announced that the required accommodation of the lunar character of the Twin Holy Birthdays within the Badi solar calendar has been completed. This accommodation now enables the entire Bahá’í world to celebrate these two most significant events on the same days.