Naw Ruz Historical

from God Passes By

… On the 28th of the month of Ṣafar 1327 A.H., the day of the first Naw-Rúz (1909), which He celebrated after His release from His confinement, ‘Abdu’l Bahá had the marble sarcophagus transported with great labor to the vault prepared for it, and in the evening, by the light of a single lamp, He laid within it, with His own hands—in the presence of believers from the East and from the West and in circumstances at once solemn and moving—the wooden casket containing the sacred remains of the Báb and His companion.

When all was finished, and the earthly remains of the Martyr-Prophet of Shíráz were, at long last, safely deposited for their everlasting rest in the bosom of God’s holy mountain, ‘Abdu’l Bahá, Who had cast aside His turban, removed His shoes and thrown off His cloak, bent low over the still open sarcophagus, His silver hair waving about His head and His face transfigured and luminous, rested His forehead on the border of the wooden casket, and, sobbing aloud, wept with such a weeping that all those who were present wept with Him. That night He could not sleep, so overwhelmed was He with emotion.

“The most joyful tidings is this,” He wrote later in a Tablet announcing to His followers the news of this glorious victory, “that the holy, the luminous body of the Báb … after having for sixty years been transferred from place to place, by reason of the ascendancy of the enemy, and from fear of the malevolent, and having known neither rest nor tranquility has, through the mercy of the Abhá Beauty, been ceremoniously deposited, on the day of Naw-Rúz, within the sacred casket, in the exalted Shrine on Mt. Carmel … By a strange coincidence, on that same day of Naw-Rúz, a cablegram was received from Chicago, announcing that the believers in each of the American centers had elected a delegate and sent to that city … and definitely decided on the site and construction of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár.” (Shoghí Effendí, God Passes By)

It was on the fifth of Naw-Rúz (1863), while Bahá’u’lláh was celebrating that festival in the Mazra‘iy-i-Vashshásh, in the outskirts of Baghdád, and had just revealed the “Tablet of the Holy Mariner,” whose gloomy prognostications had aroused the grave apprehensions of His Companions, that an emissary of Námiq Páshá arrived and delivered into His hands a communication requesting an interview between Him and the governor. (Shoghí Effendí, God Passes By)

Twenty-seven days after that mournful Tablet had been so unexpectedly revealed by Bahá’u’lláh, and the fateful communication, presaging His departure to Constantinople had been delivered into His hands, on a Wednesday afternoon (April 22, 1863), thirty-one days after Naw-Rúz, on the third of Dhi’l-Qa‘dih, 1279 A.H., He set forth on the first stage of His four months’ journey to the capital of the Ottoman Empire. That historic day, forever after designated as the first day of the Riḍván Festival, the culmination of innumerable farewell visits which friends and acquaintances of every class and denomination, had been paying him, was one the like of which the inhabitants of Baghdád had rarely beheld. A concourse of people of both sexes and of every age, comprising friends and strangers Arabs, Kurds and Persians, notables and clerics, officials and merchants, as well as many of the lower classes, the poor, the orphaned, the outcast, some surprised, others heartbroken, many tearful and apprehensive, a few impelled by curiosity or secret satisfaction, thronged the approaches of His house, eager to catch a final glimpse of One Who, for a decade, had, through precept and example, exercised so potent an influence on so large a number of the heterogeneous inhabitants of their city. (Shoghí Effendí, God Passes By)

The people of Shíráz were by that time wild with excitement. A violent controversy was raging in the masjids, the madrisihs, the bazaars, and other public places. Peace and security were gravely imperiled. Fearful, envious, thoroughly angered, the mullás were beginning to perceive the seriousness of their position. The governor, greatly alarmed, ordered the Báb to be arrested. He was brought to Shíráz under escort, and, in the presence of Ḥusayn Khán, was severely rebuked, and so violently struck in the face that His turban fell to the ground. Upon the intervention of the Imám-Jum‘ih He was released on parole, and entrusted to the custody of His maternal uncle Ḥájí Mírzá Siyyid ‘Alí. A brief lull ensued, enabling the captive Youth to celebrate the Naw-Rúz of that and the succeeding year in an atmosphere of relative tranquillity in the company of His mother, His wife, and His uncle. Meanwhile the fever that had seized His followers was communicating itself to the members of the clergy and to the merchant classes, and was invading the higher circles of society. Indeed, a wave of passionate inquiry had swept the whole country, and unnumbered congregations were listening with wonder to the testimonies eloquently and fearlessly related by the Báb’s itinerant messengers. (Shoghí Effendí, God Passes By)

A fast ebbing life, so crowded with the accumulated anxieties, disappointments, treacheries and sorrows of a tragic ministry, now moved swiftly towards its climax. The most turbulent period of the Heroic Age of the new Dispensation was rapidly attaining its culmination. The cup of bitter woes which the Herald of that Dispensation had tasted was now full to overflowing. Indeed, He Himself had already foreshadowed His own approaching death. In the Kitáb-i-Panj-Sha‘n, one of His last works, He had alluded to the fact that the sixth Naw-Rúz after the declaration of His mission would be the last He was destined to celebrate on earth. In His interpretation of the letter Há, He had voiced His craving for martyrdom, while in the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá’ He had actually prophesied the inevitability of such a consummation of His glorious career. Forty days before His final departure from Chihríq He had even collected all the documents in His possession, and placed them, together with His pen-case, His seals and His rings, in the hands of Mullá Báqir, a Letter of the Living, whom He instructed to entrust them to Mullá ‘Abdu’l-Karím-i-Qazvíní, surnamed Mírzá Aḥmad, who was to deliver them to Bahá’u’lláh in Ṭihrán. (Shoghí Effendí, God Passes By)

from `Abdu'l-Bahá

O ye heavenly heralds: These are the days of Naw-Rúz. I am always thinking of those kind friends! I beg for each and all of you confirmations and assistance from the threshold of oneness, so that those gatherings may become ignited like unto candles, in the republics of America, enkindling the light of the love of God in the hearts; thus the rays of the heavenly teachings may begem and brighten the states of America like the infinitude of immensity with the stars of the Most Great Guidance. (`Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of the Divine Plan)

O ye heralds of the Kingdom of God: A FEW days ago an epistle was written to those divine believers, but because these days are the days of Naw-Rúz, you have come to my mind and I am sending you this greeting for this glorious feast. All the days are blessed, but this feast is the national fête of Persia. The Persians have been holding it for several thousand years past. In reality every day which man passes in the mention of God, the diffusion of the fragrances of God and calling the people to the Kingdom of God, that day is his feast. Praise be to God that you are occupied in the service of the Kingdom of God and are engaged in the promulgation of the religion of God by day and by night. Therefore all your days are feast days. There is no doubt that the assistance and the bestowal of God shall descend upon you. (`Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of the Divine Plan)

from The Kitáb-i-Aqdas

107. first day of Riḍván ¶75

This is a reference to the arrival of Bahá’u’lláh and His companions in the Najíbíyyih Garden outside the city of Baghdád, subsequently referred to by the Bahá’ís as the Garden of Riḍván. This event, which took place thirty-one days after Naw-Rúz, in April 1863, signalized the commencement of the period during which Bahá’u’lláh declared His Mission to His companions. In a Tablet, He refers to His Declaration as “the Day of supreme felicity” and He describes the Garden of Riḍván as “the Spot from which He shed upon the whole of creation the splendors of His Name, the All-Merciful.” Bahá’u’lláh spent twelve days in this Garden prior to departing for Istanbul, the place to which He had been banished.

The Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh is celebrated annually by the twelve-day Riḍván Festival, described by Shoghi Effendi as “the holiest and most significant of all Bahá’í festivals” (see notes 138 and 140). (The Kitáb-i-Aqdas – The Most Holy Book)

from The Universal House of Justice

The adoption of a new calendar in each dispensation is a symbol of the power of Divine Revelation to reshape human perception of material, social, and spiritual reality. Through it, sacred moments are distinguished, humanity’s place in time and space reimagined, and the rhythm of life recast. Next Naw-Rúz will mark yet another historic step in the manifestation of the unity of the people of Bahá and the unfoldment of Bahá’u’lláh’s World Order. (The Universal House of Justice ,10 July 2014 – To the Bahá’ís of the World)

With hearts brimming with love and affection, we send our warmest greetings to you, beloved friends, and to all the noble people of Iran on the occasion of the festival of Naw-Rúz. The month of ‘Alá—the blessed days of the Fast and the grace-filled period of spiritual renewal—has come to an end, the cold and bitter winter has passed, and the month of Bahá—the beginning of the fresh and vivifying season of spring—has arrived. This transformation in the world of nature is a reminder of the coming of the heavenly springtide, a season that began with the dawning of the Cause of the Exalted One, the Forerunner and the Herald of spiritual revival in this radiant age, and the appearance of Bahá’u’lláh, the universal Manifestation of God and the Founder of a new world civilization. Just as the world of nature becomes sweet scented and fragrant through the breezes of spring and barren fields bloom anew and grow verdant, so does the celestial power emanating from the quickening breezes of this divine springtime bestow new life on the world of being and prepare it for wondrous progress, both material and spiritual. The effects of the creative and transformative power of this spiritual spring are far reaching; they portend the coming of age of humanity and lead peoples and nations towards a world characterized by unity in diversity. Happy are you, chosen ones of God, for you are illumined by the light of faith, are adorned with heavenly characters, are striving to contribute to this transformation in the world of humanity, and are willing to make every sacrifice to aid in the establishment of a civilization that is neither of the East nor of the West. You are among the hosts of the Kingdom of God; you are the servants of the world of humanity who have shone forth like burnished gold in the fire of ordeals and have not been silenced in times of tests. We offer supplications in the Holy Shrines on your behalf. (The Universal House of Justice, Naw-Rúz 2013 – To the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in Iran)

On the occasion of the festival of Naw-Rúz, with hearts brimming with love and affection, we send our warmest greetings to you, the sincere lovers of the All-Merciful, and to all the pure-hearted people of Iran. The season of spring is, according to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, an outward symbol of the spiritual springtime. Just as the advent of spring bestows new life and freshness upon the world of nature, so too, in this new age of the spirit, the rays of the divine light shine upon unsullied hearts and heavenly breezes waft over the bower of the inner reality of illumined souls, awakening and enlightening people of discernment and goodwill. Now that you have received an abundant share of the spiritual bounties of the days of the Fast and have been more than ever inebriated with the wine of the love of God, it is our hope that in these blessed days, and in spite of numerous hardships, you will be able to take heart from the message of joy and the sweet savours of hope brought by Naw-Rúz and to obtain renewed strength therefrom. (The Universal House of Justice, Naw-Rúz 2012 – To the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in Iran)

At the advent of the ancient and auspicious Persian festival of Naw-Rúz, the close of the blessed days of fasting and the commencement of a new year, we take this opportunity to convey our heartfelt greetings to every one of you, sincere servants of the All-Merciful, and, through you, to the entire Iranian nation.

It is customary among the nations that a day of general rejoicing be appointed when people come together with joy and gladness and renew the bonds of affection. The day of Naw-Rúzis a reminder of the grandeur and glory of the ancient land of Iran and a symbol of the abiding greatness and distinction of its peoples. This time-honoured tradition is an occasion for all to celebrate and rejoice, to show forth love and kindness, to leave aside rancor and enmity, and to seek inward and outward renewal. From the earliest times, the people of Iran have revered and sanctified this splendid day. The Bahá’ís of the world, too, comprising peoples of every race and origin in over two hundred countries and territories, celebrate this glorious day under the same fair name of “Naw-Rúz” and strive, following the counsels of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, to ensure that the outcome of the day not remain “limited to the fruits of mere pleasure”, but that it herald great undertakings aimed at furthering the common weal. (The Universal House of Justice, 21 March 2011 – To the Believers in the Cradle of the Faith)

On this blessed day of Naw-Rúz, our hearts are drawn ever closer to you. This is a happy and joyous season. The fields and meadows are adorned with blossoms, and the air is fragrant with their perfume. In the northern hemisphere, nature stirs with new life, arrayed in spectacular beauty. The world of existence is rejuvenated, and all created things are in a state of motion and change. This is particularly true of the blessed land of Iran—the very envy of paradise—extolled by the beloved Master as a land that “fostereth love”, whose “heavenly meadows teem with sweet herbs and flowers”.

The pure-hearted people of Iran, following a tradition stretching back several thousand years, observe as a national festival this day that marks the commencement of spring. They put aside all grievances from the preceding year and focus their thoughts on loving fellowship. Bahá’ís across the globe, of every nation and ethnicity, likewise celebrate with great jubilation the festival of Naw-Rúz, as explicitly ordained in the Most Holy Book, and regard it as an opportunity to foster friendship and unity among the peoples of the world. (The Universal House of Justice, 21 March 2010 – To the Believers in the Cradle of the Faith)

This Naw-Rúz marks the centenary of one of the outstanding events in the Apostolic Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation, the interment by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá of the sacred remains of the Báb in their permanent resting place on God’s holy mountain. In the words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: “The most joyful tidings is this, that the holy, the luminous body of the Báb … after having for sixty years been transferred from place to place, by reason of the ascendancy of the enemy, and from fear of the malevolent, and having known neither rest nor tranquillity has, through the mercy of the Abhá Beauty, been ceremoniously deposited, on the day of Naw-Rúz, within the sacred casket, in the exalted Shrine on Mt. Carmel.”

In commemoration of that triumph of the Cause, the members of the Universal House of Justice, accompanied by the members of the International Teaching Centre, have today offered prayers of thanksgiving in the Shrine of the Báb on behalf of the worldwide Bahá’í community, expressing gratitude for the unfailing divine protection vouchsafed to the Cause of God. In their solemn contemplation, their hearts were stirred as they recalled the indelible image of the Master left to posterity when, on this day a hundred years ago, having with His own hands laid that peerless Trust in its final place of repose, He rested His head upon the edge of the blessed casket of the Báb, and “sobbing aloud, wept with such a weeping that all those who were present wept with Him”. They remembered, too, the manifold obstacles with which He had been confronted in constructing this sacred edifice and His unbounded relief at having accomplished one of the principal objectives of His Ministry. (The Universal House of Justice, 21 March 2009 – To the Bahá’ís of the World)

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas—the Book described in such exalted terms by the Guardian of the Cause of God as “that priceless treasury enshrining for all time the brightest emanations of the mind of Bahá’u’lláh, the Charter of His World Order, the chief repository of His laws, the Harbinger of His Covenant, the Pivotal Work containing some of His noblest exhortations, weightiest pronouncements, and portentous prophecies, and revealed during the full tide of His tribulations, at a time when the rulers of the earth had definitely forsaken Him”—this Most Holy Book, we have the honor to announce, will, in a copiously annotated English translation, be released to the Community of Bahá at Naw-Rúz. (The Universal House of Justice, 5 March 1993 – To the Bahá’ís of the World)

Apart from all these outstanding events and developments, but of even greater magnitude because of its far-reaching implications for the whole human race, was the release at Naw-Rúz of the annotated English translation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Most Holy Book. We draw a stage closer, then, to a time envisaged by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: “When the laws of the Most Holy Book are enforced,” the Master said, “… universal peace will raise its tent in the center of the earth, and the blessed Tree of Life will grow and spread to such an extent that it will overshadow the East and West.” (The Universal House of Justice, Riḍván 150 – To the Bahá’ís of the World)

In the Holy Land, preparations for the execution of the building projects on Mount Carmel received a definite boost. It is a cause of deep satisfaction that, on the eve of Naw-Rúz, the District Town Planning Commission, after delicate and complex negotiations, decided to approve the plan submitted by the Bahá’í World Centre. This paves the way for the ultimate issuance of building permits. (The Universal House of Justice, Riḍván 1990 – To the Bahá’ís of the World) THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE 15 March 1973

To all National Spiritual Assemblies



(15 March 1973 – To all National Spiritual Assemblies)

Shoghí Effendí

March 21, 1950


Announce to the friends the completion, on the eve of Naw-Rúz, of the erection of parapet crowning the eastern façade of Holy Shrine one year after placing the first threshold stones upon the foundation of the arcade. The beauty and majesty of the finely carved panels surmounting the soaring arches spanning the rosy monolith columns, emblazoned with emerald green and scarlet mosaic symbolizing the Báb’s lineage and martyrdom, are strikingly revealed. The original pearl-like structure raised by the hands of the Center of the Covenant, enshrining the remains of the Martyr-Prophet of the Faith, acquiring, through construction of the shell designed for its embellishment and preservation, additional height by one-third, additional width by one-fifth, enhancing the massiveness of the edifice embosomed in the Mountain of God, heralding the erection of the lofty gilded dome that will eventually shine forth in solitary splendor from its heart.

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