Bahá’u’lláh, the Revealer of God’s Word in this Day, the Source of Authority, the Fountainhead of Justice, the Creator of a new World Order, the Establisher of the Most Great Peace, the Inspirer and Founder of a world civilization, the Judge, the Lawgiver, the Unifier and Redeemer of all mankind, has proclaimed the advent of God’s Kingdom on earth, has formulated its laws and ordinances, enunciated its principles, and ordained its institutions.
(Universal House of Justice, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 118)
Bahá’u’lláh belonged to a noble family of Tihran. His father, Mirza ‘Abbas-i-Nuri, known as Mirza Buzurg, held a very important ministerial position in the court of the Shah and was highly regarded by the dignitaries of the realm. Circumstances of family life in Islamic countries were totally different from those of present-day Western society. The law of Islam concerning polygamy prevailed, allowing men to have a maximum of four wives at the same time. Mirza Buzurg married four wives and had three concubines and 15 children—five daughters and ten sons. Bahá’u’lláh was born on 12 November 1817 in Tihran. His mother, Kadijih Khanum, the second wife of Mirza Buzurg, had a son and two daughters from a previous marriage. As a result, Bahá’u’lláh had ten brothers and seven sisters. Some of them became steadfast believers, some followed Mirza Yahya and others remained indifferent or died before Bahá’u’lláh’s declaration in the Garden of Ridván.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Child of the Covenant, p. 18-19)
Bahá’u’lláh received an elementary education during His childhood in Tihran. The nobility of those days usually employed the services of a teacher at home to tutor their children. The main subjects were calligraphy, the study of the Qur‘án and the works of the Persian poets. This type of schooling ended after only a few years when the child was in his early teens. Bahá’u’lláh’s education did not go further than this.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Child of the Covenant, p. 18)
He was most generous, giving abundantly to the poor. None who came to Him were turned away. The doors of His house were open to all. He always had many guests. This unbounded generosity was conducive to greater astonishment from the fact that He sought neither position nor prominence. In commenting upon this His friends said He would become impoverished, for His expenses were many and His wealth becoming more and more limited. “Why is he not thinking of his own affairs?", they inquired of each other; but some who were wise declared: “This personage is connected with another world; he has something sublime within him that is not evident now; the day is coming when it will be manifested.” In truth the Blessed Perfection was a refuge for every weak one, a shelter for every fearing one, kind to every indigent one, lenient and loving to all creatures.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 220-221)
How grievously Bahá’u’lláh suffered to regenerate the world! Wrongly accused, imprisoned, beaten, chained, banished from country to country, betrayed, poisoned, stripped of material possessions, and “at every moment tormented with a fresh torment": such was the cruel reception that greeted the Everlasting Father, Him Who is the Possessor of all Names and Attributes. For two score years, until the end of His earthly days, He remained a prisoner and exile—persecuted unceasingly by the rulers of Persia and the Ottoman Empire, opposed relentlessly by a vicious and scheming clergy, neglected abjectly by other sovereigns to whom He addressed potent letters imparting to them that which, in His truth-bearing words, “is the cause of the well-being, the unity, the harmony, and the reconstruction of the world, and of the tranquillity of the nations.” “My grief,” He once lamented, “exceedeth all the woes to which Jacob gave vent, and all the afflictions of Job are but a part of My sorrows.” The voice halts for shame from continuing so deplorable a recitation, the heart is torn by mere thought of the Divine Target of such grief—grief no ordinary mortal could endure. But lest we give way to feelings of gloom and distress, we take recourse in the tranquil calm He induces with such meaningful words as these: “We have borne it all with the utmost willingness and resignation, so that the souls of men may be edified, and the Word of God be exalted.
(The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 239-240)
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, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 169)
O King! I was but a man like others, asleep upon My couch, when lo, the breezes of the All-Glorious were wafted over Me, and taught Me the knowledge of all that hath been. This thing is not from Me, but from One Who is Almighty and All-Knowing. And He bade Me lift up My voice between earth and heaven, and for this there befell Me what hath caused the tears of every man of understanding to flow. The learning current amongst men I studied not; their schools I entered not. Ask of the city wherein I dwelt, that thou mayest be well assured that I am not of them who speak falsely. This is but a leaf which the winds of the will of thy Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised, have stirred. Can it be still when the tempestuous winds are blowing? Nay, by Him Who is the Lord of all Names and Attributes! They move it as they list.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Promised Day is Come, p. 40-4l)
The Ancient Beauty hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind may be released from its bondage, and hath accepted to be made a prisoner within this most mighty Stronghold that the whole world may attain unto true liberty. He hath drained to its dregs the cup of sorrow, that all the peoples of the earth may attain unto abiding joy, and be filled with gladness. This is of the mercy of your Lord, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful. We have accepted to be abased, O believers in the Unity of God, that ye may be exalted, and have suffered manifold afflictions, that ye might prosper and flourish.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 99)
The Blessed Perfection Bahá’u’lláh belonged to the royal family of Iran. From earliest childhood He was distinguished among His relatives and friends. They said: “This child has extraordinary power.” In wisdom, intelligence and as a source of new knowledge He was advanced beyond His age and superior to His surroundings. All who knew Him were astonished at his precocity. It was usual for them to say: “Such a child will not live,” for it is commonly believed that precocious children do not reach maturity. During the period of youth the Blessed Perfection did not enter school. He was not willing to be taught. This fact is well established among the Iranians of Tihran. Nevertheless He was capable of solving the difficult problems of all who came to Him. In whatever meeting, scientific assembly or theological discussion He was found, He became the authority of explanation upon intricate and abstruse questions presented.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 220)
The Blessed Perfection bore all these ordeals and calamities in order that our hearts might become enkindled and radiant, our spirits be glorified, our faults become virtues, our ignorance transformed into knowledge; in order that we might attain the real fruits of humanity and acquire heavenly graces; although pilgrims upon earth we should travel the road of the heavenly kingdom; although needy and poor we might receive the treasures of life eternal. For this has He borne these difficulties and sorrows.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 223)
The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Most Holy Book, stands out as the mightiest testimony to the sovereignty of Bahá’u’lláh. To any Bahá’í who deeply meditates on this book, Bahá’u’lláh appears as the ruler of all mankind. In the words of Shoghi Effendi, He will be acclaimed by posterity in the same way that He is already recognized by his followers as: The Judge, the Lawgiver and Redeemer of all mankind, as the Organizer of the entire planet, as the Unifier of the children of men, as the Inaugurator of the long-awaited millennium, as the Originator of a new ‘Universal Cycle‘, as the Establisher of the Most Great Peace, as the Fountain of the Most Great Justice, as the Proclaimer of the coming of age of the entire human race, as the Creator of a new World Order, as the Inspirer and Founder of a world civilization.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 3, p. 392)
There is no doubt that when the station of Bahá’u’lláh is universally recognized, posterity will look at the story of His life with awe and wonder. People in the future will be amazed at the blindness of man in His days, and astonished at the treatment that was meted out to Him. When the glory of his station is unveiled to the eyes of humanity, it will be hard to imagine that the Lord of Hosts was made to live in the most desolate of the cities, the Heavenly Father held as a captive by a perverse generation and the King of Kings confined in a small room unfit to be a dwelling. And yet in that small room devoid of all the luxuries of life and not even properly furnished, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas described by Him as His ‘weightiest testimony unto all people’ was revealed. It is a staggering thought that in such a room, in an obscure corner of a prison city, unknown to the world, such a mighty instrument as the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the great Charter for future world civilization, should have been born.
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 3, p. 393)
Through Him, and Him alone, can Man know God.
(H.M. Balyuzi, Bahá’u’lláh - The King of Glory, p. 7)
To Israel He was neither more nor less than the incarnation of the “Everlasting Father,” the “Lord of Hosts” come down “with ten thousands of saints"; to Christendom Christ returned “in the glory of the Father,” to Shí‘ah Islam the return of the Imam Husayn; to Sunni Islam the descent of the “Spirit of God” (Jesus Christ); to the Zoroastrians the promised Shah-Bahram; to the Hindus the reincarnation of Krishna; to the Buddhists the fifth Buddha.
(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 94-95)
Until His father passed away Bahá’u’lláh did not seek position or political station notwithstanding His connection with the government. This occasioned surprise and comment. It was frequently said: “How is it that a young man of such keen intelligence and subtle perception does not seek lucrative appointments? As a matter of fact every position is open to him.” This is a historical statement fully attested by the people of Iran.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 220)