An old view of the Ridván Gardens in Baghdad where Bahá'u'lláh declared His Mission

 Photo courtesy www.bahai-biblio.org

The twelve-day period from April 21 to May 2 is a celebratory time of year for Bahá’ís. It is the time when Bahá’u’lláh left His residence in Baghdad and prepared for the next stage of His exile, and the time when He made the public announcement of His Mission as the One declared by the Báb as He Whom God Shall Make Manifest. Shoghi Effendi says this in God Passes By:


The arrival of Bahá’u’lláh in the Najíbíyyih Garden, subsequently designated by His followers the Garden of Ridván, signalizes the commencement of what has come to be recognized as the holiest and most significant of all Bahá’í festivals, the festival commemorating the Declaration of His Mission to His companions. So momentous a Declaration may well be regarded both as the logical consummation of that revolutionizing process which was initiated by Himself upon His return from Sulaymaniyyih, and as a prelude to the final proclamation of that same Mission to the world and its rulers from Adrianople.


In fulfillment of the sacred scriptures of past dispensations, Shoghi Effendi goes on to say this in that same masterful exposition of the history of the Faith:


Through that solemn act the “delay,” of no less than a decade, divinely interposed between the birth of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation in the Síyah-Chál and its announcement to the Báb’s disciples, was at long last terminated. The “set time of concealment,” during which as He Himself has borne witness, the “signs and tokens of a divinely-appointed Revelation” were being showered upon Him, was fulfilled. The “myriad veils of light,” within which His glory had been wrapped, were, at that historic hour, partially lifted, vouchsafing to mankind “an infinitesimal glimmer” of the effulgence of His “peerless, His most sacred and exalted Countenance.” The “thousand two hundred and ninety days,” fixed by Daniel in the last chapter of His Book, as the duration of the “abomination that maketh desolate” had now elapsed. The “hundred lunar years,” destined to immediately precede that blissful consummation (1335 days), announced by Daniel in that same chapter, had commenced. The nineteen years, constituting the first “Váhid,” preordained in the Persian Bayan by the pen of the Báb, had been completed. The Lord of the Kingdom, Jesus Christ returned in the glory of the Father, was about to ascend His throne, and assume the sceptre of a world-embracing, indestructible sovereignty. The community of the Most Great Name, the “companions of the Crimson Colored Ark,” lauded in glowing terms in the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá’, had visibly emerged. The Báb’s own prophecy regarding the “Ridván,” the scene of the unveiling of Bahá’u’lláh’s transcendent glory, had been literally fulfilled.

Three days have been set aside to celebrate the anniversary of this great event: the first,  ninth, and twelfth days of Ridván, corresponding with April 21, April 29, and May 2.

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