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Banishment of Bahá’u’lláh from Baghdad to Constantinople and Beyond

Jul 16, 2023
flyer for Jena Khodadad's July webinar featuring a small photo of Jena and a map showing the areas where Baha'u'llah lived in exile

This powerpoint presentation starts from the Declaration of Baháu’lláh in the Garden of Ridvan. The Order issued by the Ottoman government for the banishment of Baháu’lláh from Baghdad to Constantinople, the Capital of The Ottoman Empire, was communicated to Baháu’lláh by Ali Pasha, the Prime Minister of the Ottoman Sultan. In courteous language, the letter invited Baháu’lláh to proceed to Constantinople as the guest of the Ottoman government. Thus, the time for the departure of Baháu’lláh from The Garden of Ridvan had come. The departure of Baháu’lláh from the garden of Ridvan was on May 3, 1863. The journey of Baháu’lláh from Baghdad to Constantinople started from Firayjat, three miles away on the bank of the Tigris.

The journey was idyllic, consisting of a caravan of Kajavahs (howdas) traversing through twenty two villages in the picturesque Anatolia. The journey, of the distance of one thousand miles, over one hundred and ten days, reached Samsun on the Black Sea. From Samsun Baháu’lláh and some among His retinue continued on toward Constantinople, the seat of the Caliphate and the Sultanate. The banishment of Baháu’lláh continued with His exile from Constantinople to Adrianople. After five years, the course of the banishment of Baháu’lláh continued yet further from Adrianople toward the penal colony of Akka. The course of the banishments and exile of Baháu’lláh, from Constantinople to Akka, is signified by the third glorious phase in the disclosure of His prophetic mission—The Proclamation of Baháu’lláh to the Kings and Rulers of His time.



Jena Khadem Khodadad

Jena Khadem Khodadad is a fourth generation Iranian Bahá’í. The major part of her life was spent in the United States of America where she received her Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University in Biological Sciences (with focus on cellular and molecular Biology), followed with postdoctoral studies and faculty positions in medical and graduate schools. Her academic career in medical and graduate programs entailed teaching and research. Jena’s scientific publications are in journals and academic books. Aside from her scientific research and publications, Jena is deeply interested in studies centered on Bahá’í history, the fundamental principles of the Bahá’í Faith, such as the harmony of science and religion, and specifically the application of scientific principles to an appreciation and understanding of the Bahá’í worldview. In this respect, her book “Scientific Principles at Work in the Worldwide Advancement of Bahá’í Faith” (George Ronald, Publishers) explores scientific principles in respect to the growth of the Bahá’í  Faith and the dynamism and vitality of the Bahá’í community. Jena continues to contribute to public discourse and dialogues on some of the challenges of our times. Furthermore, Jena is committed to enhancement of interfaith understanding and has organized, presented, and contributed to numerous interfaith forums.

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