The Báb [1819-1850], Prophet-Founder of the Babí Faith was the Prophet-Herald of the Bah á’í Faith. The expressed mission of The Báb was to proclaim the imminent arrival of “Him Whom God shall make manifest,” namely Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith. [The title “Báb” means “the Gate” in Arabic.] This mission was somewhat similar to the mission of John the Baptist in appearing just prior to the Advent of The Christ. All Revealed Religions have had Precursors like John the Baptist before The Christ or Salmán just before the Advent of Muhammad, Whose duty it was to prepare the people for the imminent arrival of the Prophet-Founders of Their respective Faiths. The Báb, however, was in Himself a Major Manifestation of God and therefore His Revealed Religion an Independent Religion and not a sect, and while His Ministry lasted but nineteen short years, its impact will be felt throughout the world for at least a thousand, if not thousands of years in the future development of an ever-evolving mankind. It is a Bahá’í Teaching just as it is in previous Revealed Religions that as mankind evolves and in capable of receiving greater instruction and guidance Manifestations of God are sent to provide that instruction and guidance as the Mouthpiece of God in Their respective historical periods.
On October 19 [after sunset when the Bahá’í day begins] or October 20 [before sunset when the Bahá’í day ends], Bahá’ís observe this Holy Day by abstaining from work. There are no prescribed ceremonies, but gatherings usually involve prayers, devotional readings, music and fellowship.
On May 23, 1844, in Shiráz, Persia, The Báb announced the impending appearance of the Messenger of God awaited by all the peoples of the world. Following this announcement, The Báb was persecuted by members of the dominant Muslim clergy in what is now Iran. The Báb was arrested, beaten and imprisoned, and, on July 9, 1850, was executed in the public square of the city of Tabríz. Some 20,000 of His followers perished in a series of massacres throughout Persia.