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Why do Baha’is celebrate? With the birth of Baha’u’llah at the hour of dawn on this day in 1817, and the birth of the Bab two years later in 1819, Baha’is believe that the means for the establishment of the unity of humanity came into being.
Learn more about the Bicentenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah at Bicentenary.Bahai.org
Soon, the birth of those twin holy messengers promised, would the hatreds which divided the peoples of the world be overcome, the fanaticism that separated them be annulled, their prejudices be transcended, and their strangeness be erased. Soon would the great call for the unity of all peoples and cultures, all nations and religions be raised:
O peoples of the world! The Sun of Truth hath risen to illumine the whole earth, and to spiritualize the community of man. Laudable are the results and the fruits thereof, abundant the holy evidences deriving from this grace. This is mercy unalloyed and purest bounty; it is light for the world and all its peoples; it is harmony and fellowship, and love and solidarity; indeed it is compassion and unity, and the end of foreignness; it is the being at one, in complete dignity and freedom, with all on earth.
[Baha’u’llah] saith: “Ye are all the fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch.” Thus hath He likened this world of being to a single tree, and all its peoples to the leaves thereof, and the blossoms and fruits. It is needful for the bough to blossom, and leaf and fruit to flourish, and upon the interconnection of all parts of the world-tree, dependeth the flourishing of leaf and blossom, and the sweetness of the fruit.
For this reason must all human beings powerfully sustain one another and seek for everlasting life; and for this reason must the lovers of God in this contingent world become the mercies and the blessings sent forth by that clement King of the seen and unseen realms. Let them purify their sight and behold all humankind as leaves and blossoms and fruits of the tree of being. Let them at all times concern themselves with doing a kindly thing for one of their fellows, offering to someone love, consideration, thoughtful help. Let them see no one as their enemy, or as wishing them ill, but think of all humankind as their friends; regarding the alien as an intimate, the stranger as a companion, staying free of prejudice, drawing no lines. – Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, pp. 1-2.
Baha’is draw no lines, as Abdu’l-Baha advised. All around the planet, Baha’is work for the eradication of prejudice, racism, gender disparity and inequality of all kinds. The teachings of Baha’u’llah call for an end to war and the establishment of equal justice and universal peace among all peoples and nations:
Take heed, O concourse of the rulers of the world! There is no force on earth that can equal in its conquering power the force of justice and wisdom. I, verily, affirm that there is not, and hath never been, a host more mighty than that of justice and wisdom. Blessed is the king who marcheth with the ensign of wisdom unfurled before him, and the battalions of justice massed in his rear. He verily is the ornament that adorneth the brow of peace and the countenance of security. There can be no doubt whatever that if the day-star of justice, which the clouds of tyranny have obscured, were to shed its light upon men, the face of the earth would be completely transformed.
The Great Being, wishing to reveal the prerequisites of the peace and tranquillity of the world and the advancement of its peoples, hath written: The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world’s Great Peace amongst men. – Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah, pp. 164-165.
This momentous message from Baha’u’llah, which signals the coming of age of our entire species, announced the advent of the time when the human race finally has the ability to recognize itself as one, discover the fullness of its common humanity, and live together without hatred or violence.
Today something truly unique and unprecedented will happen during the worldwide celebrations of Baha’u’llah’s birthday. For the first time in human history, we now have two successive holy days celebrated as sacred by peoples from every nation, every tribe and ethnicity, every color and every creed, no matter what their background, which means:
The lights of God are resplendent. The blessed Epistles are spreading. The blessed teachings are promulgated throughout the East and the West. Soon you will see that the heavenly Words have established the oneness of the world of humanity. The banner of the Most Great Peace has been unfurled, and the great community is appearing. – Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 28-29.
Everyone is invited to the party. With Baha’u’llah’s new Faith, the Jewish people can discover the birth of the Messiah and Christians the return of Christ. Muslims can celebrate the reappearance of the Hidden Imam or the birth of the promised Qa’im. Zoroastrians can rejoice at the birth of their king, the Shah Bahram; Buddhists can find the Maitreya Buddha, the supremely enlightened One; and Hindus recognize the reincarnation of Krishna, born to reestablish righteousness on Earth. Agnostics and atheists can discover a newly rational message of spirituality unburdened by the dogmatic and dictatorial practices of the past.
As such, these Twin Holy Days, the celebrations of the births of the Bab and Baha’u’llah, stand together as the first event in human history claimed as their own by people of all traditions and all cultures. In that sense, the Twin Holy Days don’t just celebrate the births of the Bab and Baha’u’llah – they recognize the emerging reality of a gradually-unifying world.