In June 2018, the Universal House of Justice asked the Bahá’ís to begin to prepare for the October 2019 observance of the Bicentenary of the birth of the Báb. The Wilmette Institute will be offering six courses in 2019 about the Báb–the first Manifestation of the Bahá’í era–Who was the “portal to a superior Revelation.”
Note: The Bicentenary Courses survey is now closed (January 6, 2019). Results and outcomes will be published soon.
If you have questions on the content of specific courses, let us know by emailing email@example.com. Your question(s) will be forwarded to the course faculty, who can advise and assist you before you commit to the course, as well as during the course if you decide to participate.
Scroll down for a chronological list of the Bicentenary courses. You may register up to three months in advance, with a ten-dollar downpayment. Tuition support is available to anyone who needs it. You do not need to be a Bahá’í to receive this support!
Below the course list is a list of 2019 Web Talks about the life and teachings of the Báb. More talks will be added to this list, so keep an eye out. The Wilmette Institute’s Web Talks are free.
At the bottom of this page are some suggested resources for learning more about the Báb and the Bicentenary celebrations online.
2019 BICENTENARY COURSES
1. Discovering the Báb’s Bayán: The Most Holy Book of the Bábí Religion
FACULTY: Shahrokh Monjazeb
DATES: January 10 to March 23, 2019
Discovering the Báb’s Bayán will be the first concise yet comprehensive online study of the Báb’s “pivotal” and “doctrinal” work. Participants will explore and examine the various themes and dimensions of this very lengthy book which Shoghi Effendi describes as “that monumental repository of the laws and precepts of the new Dispensation….”
Learn about the “central message” of the Bayán and discover how the Báb as “the Promised Messenger of God” broke away from traditional Shí‘a and Sunní doctrine by introducing new laws and ordinances for the next phase of the human spiritual development.
The course will also include five one hour webinars conducted by the lead faculty Mr. Shahrokh Monjazeb. The first webinar will be a public web talk, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday January 13th 2019, titled “A Divine Exposition for the New Age: A Textual Analysis of The Persian Bayán”.
The Life of the Báb explores his early life; the declaration of his mission; his pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina; his return to Iran and his initial stay in Shiraz; his escape to Isfahan; his imprisonment in Azerbaijan; and his trial and execution in Tabriz.
3. The Bábí Faith, 1844 to 1863:
Rediscovering the Dawnbreakers
FACULTY: Peter Smith, Moojan Momen
DATES: April 25 to June 12, 2019
In Rediscovering the Dawnbreakers we will study the earliest period of the history of the Bábí and Bahá’í Faiths—including the life and teachings of the Báb and the lives and exploits of His followers, the Dawnbreakers of the Heroic Age—and will provide opportunities for meditating on the spiritual qualities needed for those who endeavor to live a Baha’i life and to serve the Faith. We will cover the birth of the Bábí revelation, including the declaration of the Báb, the enrollment of the Letters of the Living, and the Báb’s pilgrimage to Mecca; His banishment to Adhirbayjan; His imprisonments in Maku and Chihriq, and the Conference of Badasht; upheavals in the Bábí communities in Mazanderan, Nayriz, and Zanjan; the martyrdom of the Báb in 1850; developments after the Báb’s martyrdom, including an attempt on the life of Nasiri’d-Din Shah; Bahá’u’lláh’s role in helping the Bábís and His imprisonment in the Siyah-Chal in Tehran; the martyrdom of Tahirih; the executions of many of the Báb’s disciples and the fate of those who persecuted the Báb and His followers; and a summation of the life of the Báb and His followers, the Dawnbreakers. Shoghi Effendi edited and translated The Dawn-Breakers as a means of encouraging Bahá’ís to emulate the bravery, self-sacrifice, and dedication of the Bábís.
FACULTY: Todd Lawson
DATES: July 5 to August 17, 2019
This course will consist mainly of forums for discussion of questions arising from three web talks by Todd Lawson.
5. The Writings of the Báb
FACULTY: Steven Phelps
DATES: August 25 to October 12, 2019
New Course. Details forthcoming. See also webinar by Steven Phelps on Sunday August 18, 2:00 pm Eastern Time: “Overview of the Writings of the Báb”
This course is designed to help parents, teachers, and other adults share the Bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb with children so that they will understand the significance and feel the spirit of this very special Holy Day. Course materials include stories, printable activities, craft ideas, and songs. Participants will receive inspiration and practical resources to celebrate this special occasion in a fun and uplifting way with children at home and in the community.
2019 BICENTENARY WEB TALKS
Sunday January 13, 2:00 pm Eastern Time
“A Divine Exposition for the New Age: A Textual Analysis of The Persian Bayán“
Saturday March 16, 2019, 9:00 pm Eastern Time
“Recruitment and Organization in the Bábí and early Baha’i Movements: A Resource Mobilization Perspective”
Sunday, May 5, 2019
“Shaykh Tabarsi: A Turning Point in the Bábí Faith”
Sunday June 2, 2:00 pm Eastern Time
Baharieh Maani Rohani
“Women of Consequence in the Life of the Bab”
Sunday July 7, 2:00 pm Eastern Time
“The Báb’s Artistry in His Commentary on the Súrih of Joseph”
Sunday July 21, 2:00 pm Eastern Time
“Blessed Beauty in Islam, Joseph as Divine Manifestation (Understanding the Báb’s Audience)”
“The Báb’s Great Announcement to Mulla Husayn: Chapter One of the Qayyúm al-Asmá’, The Súrih of Dominion (Mulk)”
“Overview of the Writings of the Báb”
Sunday September 15, 2:00 pm Eastern Time
“The Báb’s Tablet about the Special Prophethood of Muhammad”
“The Shrine of the Báb: recent research findings on its establishment, completion and embellishment”
BICENTENARY RESOURCES ONLINE
The Báb – Herald of the Bahá’í Faith
This page on the official website of the Bahá’ís of the world leads to information on: The Life of the Báb; The Bábí Movement; The Shrine of the Báb; Quotations – A small collection of the prayers and verses revealed by the Báb; and Articles and Resources – A selection of readings, essays, and resource materials which further explore the life of the Báb and His mission.
Prayers of the Báb
A compilation of over 30 prayers revealed by the Báb, on bahaiprayers.org.
Bicentenary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh
Inspired by the life and teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, millions of people worldwide celebrated the 200th anniversary of His birth on the 22nd of October 2017. This website was created to provide a window into the historic bicentenary commemorations worldwide. It is hosted by the Bahá’í International Community and a link to a similar website for the Bicentenary of the Báb will be posted as soon as it is avaialable.