Twin Manifestations – A Unique Phenomenon
For centuries, the peoples of the world have awaited the Promised Day of God, a Day when peace and harmony would be established on earth. Baha’is believe that appearance their Twin Prophets i.e. the Bab and Baha’u’llah fulfill the awaited prophecy.
The notion of “Twin Manifestations of God” is a concept fundamental to Baha’i belief, as the mission of the Bab and Baha’u’llah are inextricably linked: the Bab’s mission was to prepare the way for the coming of “He Whom God shall make manifest,” who eventually appeared in the person of Baha’u’llah. For this reason, both the Bab and Baha’u’llah are revered as Central Figures of the Baha’i Faith. Together these twin Luminaries would usher in an age of peace and justice promised in all the world’s religions.
Shrine of Baha’u’llah
After its declaration in 1844, the Babi Faith burned bright for six years but this nascent Faith plunged into disarray after the martyrdom of its Founder, the Bab in 1850. Though the Bab was a Manifestation of God and the Founder of a great religion, He also perceived Himself to be a Forerunner and had ardently urged His followers to seek out the second Manifestation, cryptically referred to as “He Whom God shall make manifest,” after His own mission, to complete the unique appearance of twin Manifestations in a single age.
Amongst the devoted followers of the Bab was Mirza Husayn-Ali, who later took the title of Baha’u’llah, meaning the Glory of God. It was not until 1863, nineteen years after the inception of the Babi Faith (thirteen since the Bab’s death), that Baha’u’llah publicly declared Himself as not only the One promised by the Bab, thus yielding that Faith’s ‘destined fruit and revealing its ultimate purpose’ but indeed, He proclaimed to be the Promised One of all Ages.
Since childhood Baha’u’llah’s was a heart agonized by suffering and cruelty, once shaken for over a week by a harsh historical account he had merely chanced upon in a book. After accepting the Bab as a Messenger of God, and publically proclaiming His cause, His inherited properties were confiscated, His possessions looted and He suffered imprisonment and exile for forty years. But His fate in exile and imprisonment was sealed when thousands of Babis and other Persians began flocking to Him after the martyrdom of the Bab and the murder of thousands of Babis. The news of His awe-inspiring presence and superb insight, coupled with His penetrating revelations, had begun to spread from mouth to mouth, and to attract admiration and animosity in equal measure.
With the birth of the Baha’i Faith the realization of two related but independent religions arising within one age was actualized.
Further cementing the bond between these two Manifestations is the celebration of their Twin Birthdays. This year “The Festival of the Twin Birthdays” or “Twin Holy Days” will be celebrated on 26 November as the birth anniversary of the Bab and on 27 November 2021 as the birth anniversary of Baha’u’llah.
What was the Message, claimed as God’s, that brought so much misery to its Twin noble Messengers? Let each fair-minded observer draw his or her own conclusions whether these ideals represent yet another fanciful distraction from worthier pursuits, or whether nothing short of an unswerving commitment to them is, indeed, ‘the secret that can turn the earth into paradise’.
Baha’u’llah states, “The purpose of the one true God in manifesting Himself is to summon all mankind to truthfulness and sincerity, to piety and trustworthiness, to resignation and submissiveness to the will of God, to forbearance and kindliness, to uprightness and wisdom. Shut your eyes to estrangement, then fix your gaze upon unity. Cleave tenaciously unto that which will lead to the well-being and tranquility of all mankind. This span of earth is but one homeland and one habitation.”