Signs of Greatness
Bahá’u’lláh was born in 1817 in Tihrán, the capital of Iran. From His early childhood, He showed signs of greatness. He received some instruction at home, but did not need to attend school, for He was endowed by God with innate knowledge. Bahá’u’lláh came from a noble family and when he was a young man, was offered a high position in the court of the King, but He refused it. He wished to dedicate His time to helping the oppressed, the sick and the poor, and to champion the cause of justice.
Suffering and Influence
There are two aspects of Bahá’u’lláh’s life which should be mentioned in particular. One is the suffering He endured. The other is the tremendous influence He had on the hearts and minds of people. These in fact characterise the lives of all the Manifestations of God.
Bahá’u’lláh’s sufferings began the moment He arose to proclaim the Cause of God. His life was one of exile, imprisonment and persecution. He was put in chains in a dark and dismal dungeon in Tihrán. He was exiled four times from land to land, finally being sent to the Prison City of `Akká in the Ottoman Empire. So intense were His sufferings there that He has referred to `Akká as the “Most Great Prison”.
Light of Truth Not Easily Extinguished
Every effort was made by two powerful courts - those of the King of Iran and the Ottoman Emperor - to oppose Bahá’u’lláh and His Teachings. But the Light of Truth is not easily extinguished. The very water that is poured on this fire to put out its flame turns into oil, and the fire burns with more intensity. Nothing could be done to stop Bahá’u’lláh’s growing influence. The farther the authorities banished Him, the greater the number of people who were attracted to His Teachings and recognised His Power and Majesty. In spite of constant persecution, Bahá’u’lláh continued to reveal the Word of God for more than forty years and brought so much love and spiritual energy into this world that the final victory of His Cause is certain.
Bahá’u’lláh passed away in 1892. His Shrine, which is considered by the Bahá’ís to be the Holiest Spot on earth, is located near the city of ‘Akká.