Birth of the Bab
Bab's house Shiraz
The Bab’s house*
Shiraz, Iran

Each year eleven days are set aside as holy by members of the Baha’i faith. During nine of these days work is prohibited, and three of these observances are devoted to the remembrance of events in the life of
Mirza Ali Muhammad, the man known as the Bab (‘gate’) and considered to be one of the founders of the faith.

One of these holy days marks the declaration of his mission (23 May), another his martyrdom (9 July) and the third commemorates his birth. On 20 October 1819 a child whose lineage can be traced back to the Prophet Muhammad was born in Shiraz, Persia. The Babis—forerunners of the Baha’i and people who eventually accepted the Bab as their spiritual leader—came to believe that Ali Muhammad was the Qa’im, the ‘promised one’ of Islam.

At an early age Ali Muhammad’s father died and his maternal uncle was entrusted with his care. It is said that at the start of his schooling, the young boy showed such intuitive understanding of the Qu’ran that
his teacher felt he had nothing further to contribute to the boy’s education. However his uncle prevailed upon him to stay in school and humbly follow the lessons.
Baha’is observe holy days with celebration, fellowship and devotions which include recitations of the prayer known as the ‘tablet of visitation’, a prayer that is also repeated by pilgrims to the Bab’s shrine in Haifa, Israel.

*This house, along with several other sites of importance to Baha’is, was destroyed by the Iranian authorities shortly after the 1979 revolution.