In honour of this year's joyous celebration of the bicentenary anniversary of Baha'u'llah's birth we are thrilled to to share with you a downloadable audio reading of Edward Granville Browne's account of meeting Baha'u'llah.

Baha'u'llah: Promised One of All Ages

Baha’u’llah announced in 1863 that He is God's Messenger for this age. His teachings and sacred writings are the basis of the Baha'i Faith.

Baha'u'llah claimed that His Divine Mission is to bring about the spiritual rebirth and the unity of mankind. He promised that this would lead to the establishment of permanent world peace and to the Kingdom of God on Earth. Baha'u'llah has attracted millions of adherents from every part of the globe; He has provided laws and teachings on how to realize His vision; and His followers are laboring everywhere to bring it about.

Baha'u'llah proclaimed that God, our loving Creator, sends Divine Messengers, known as Manifestations of God, with teachings that enable humanity to know and to worship God. These great Manifestations, which have appeared throughout history at intervals of about 500 to 1,000 years, bring human civilization to ever higher levels of spiritual and material advancement. Baha'u'llah is the latest in this long line of Divine Messengers, which has included Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster and the Bab.

Baha'u'llah was born in 1817 to a prominent family in Persia, where His father was a minister in the court of the Shah. His given name was Mirza Husayn Ali, but He identified Himself as Baha'u'llah, a title that means “Glory of God.” Turning His back on the position at court which these advantages offered Him, Baha'u'llah became known for His generosity, kindliness and concern for the poor, which made Him deeply loved among his countrymen.

This privileged position did not last. In 1844, when Baha'u'llah was still in his twenties, a young merchant from the city of Shiraz, known to history as the Bab, announced that He was the Herald of a Messenger from God, much greater than Himself, who was destined to establish the universal peace foretold in all the world's sacred scriptures. Baha'u'llah announced His support for the Bab and was engulfed in a wave of persecution unleashed upon the Bab and His followers by Persia's government and clergy. After the Bab was executed in 1850, Baha'u'llah was stripped of all His worldly endowments and subjected to imprisonment, torture and a series of banishments. The first was to Baghdad where, in 1863, He announced himself as the One promised by the Bab. From Baghdad, Baha'u'llah was exiled to Constantinople, to Adrianople, and finally to the prison-city of Akka, in the Holy Land, where He arrived as a prisoner in 1868.

From Adrianople and later from Akka, Baha'u'llah addressed a series of letters to the rulers of His day that are among the most remarkable documents in religious history. They proclaimed the coming unification of humanity and the emergence of a world civilization. Baha'u'llah called on the kings, emperors and presidents of the nineteenth century to reconcile their differences, curtail their armaments, and devote their energies to the establishment of universal peace.

In 1892, Baha'u'llah passed away at Bahji, just north of Akka, and is buried there. His teachings had already begun to spread beyond the confines of the Middle East, and His Shrine is today the focal point of the world community which these teachings have brought into being.

Read more:

The Life of Bahá’u’lláh
A photographic narrative about the life of the founder of the Bahá’í Faith.

Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and a history of His life, His teachings, His station.

Bahá'u'lláh's Writings
Selections from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh

The Shrine of Baha'u'llah in Akka, Israel

Historical photograph of the interior of the citadel of ‘Akká (Acre), Israel

In the early hours of the morning of 29 May, Baha’is throughout the world commemorate the passing of Baha’u’llah. The Founder of the Bahá’í Faith died in the Holy Land in 1892 at the Mansion of Bahji in Acre.