This blogpost series is called Holidays and Holy Days to inform our OSU community about significant religious and spiritual observances.  If you know of a significant holiday or holy day coming up, please communicate the information to Hannah Pynn in the Dean of Student Life office.

May 23rd, 2013 is the Bahá’í  holiday of Declaration of the Báb.

Baha'i Temple

Historical Context

The Declaration of the Báb happened in May 1844 when a Shi’a Muslim, Mullá Husayn, was on a journey looking for the Promised One. The Promised One, also called Al-Qāʾim in the Shi’a tradition, is a messiah figure told about in holy scriptures.

Mullá Husayn traveled to Shiraz, Iran where he was approached by a young stranger who invited Mullá Husayn to his home. This young man’s name was Siyyid Ali Muhammad and was a direct descendent of the Prophet Muhammad through the lineage of both of his parents. Mullá Husayn told Siyyid Ali Muhammad that he was searching for the possible successor to Siyyid Kázim, the Promised One.

This young man who was only 24 years old, told Mullá Husayn that he was Siyyid Kázim’s successor and the bearer of divine knowledge. When Mullá Husayn described the prophesies of The Promised One, Ali Muhammad declared, “Behold, all of these signs are manifest in me.”

Ali Muhammad then proceeded to explain the meanings of difficult holy teachings to Mullá Husayn and convinced him that he was the Promised One that Mullá Husayn had been searching for. Ali Muhammad said, “O Thou who art the first to believe in Me! Verily, I say, I am the Báb, the Gate of God.” Siyyid Ali Muhammad took the title of “The Báb,” which in Arabic means “the Gate.” He was the first of two prophetic figures who founded the Baha’i Faith, the other being Baha’u’llah, which in Arabic means “The Glory of God.”

This is the room where the Declaration of the Bab happened.
This is the room where the Declaration of the Bab happened.

Mood and Common Greetings

Mood – Festive, remembering the influence and significance of the Báb’s words

Common Greeting – Allah-u-Abha – an Arabic phrase that means “God is the Most Glorious”

Words of the Bab, handwritten by Mullá Husayn.
Words of the Bab, handwritten by Mullá Husayn.

Modern Significance

The Bahá’í faith quickly spread from that small room in Shiraz to more than 200 countries and territories around the world, representing diversity from all over the world. The writings of the Báb quickly became the foundations for the new Bahá’í belief system which became an official religion later through the Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, who was a follower of the Báb’s teachings.
Bahá’ís claim that the Báb was also the spiritual return of Elijah and John the Baptist, that he was the “Ushídar-Máh” referred to in the Zoroastrian scriptures, and that he was the forerunner of their own religion.
The declaration of the Báb is one of the nine holy days in the Bahá’í calendar.


  1. Praying
  2. Programs that tell the story of His declaration
  3. No work or school
  4. A special prayer read two hours and 11 minutes after sunset, which is the moment when the Báb informed Mulla Husayn of his mission
  5. Reflect on the process of searching for spiritual answers

Additional Resources!


OSU Religious Accommodation Policy

It is the policy of the Oregon University System and Oregon State University that no one shall be subject to discrimination based on age, disability, national origin, race, color, veteran status, marital status, religion, sex or sexual orientation.

With regards to religion, this policy prohibits the University, and its employees while at work or representing OSU, from taking action that promotes religion or promotes one particular religion over another. The University may not create an atmosphere which in anyway suggests it favors one religion over another, or religion over non-religion. As a public university, it is equally important not to inhibit voluntary religious expression. The University’s obligation is to balance these two elements — to refrain from promoting and at the same time to refrain from inhibiting. This policy is premised on respect for each individual’s right to make personal choices regarding the nature, if any, of his or her religious beliefs and practices.

This policy does not preclude a faculty member or employee from being an advisor to a recognized student organization which may have a religious affiliation.



Any student or employee who feels he or she is being treated inappropriately based on religion is encouraged to contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion, 526 Kerr Administration Building, (541-737-3556).

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