In 1844, a Persian Sayyid named Ali Muhammad, claimed that he was the Door to the guidance of God. Thus, he became known as the Bab, which means Door in Arabic. The Bab also claimed to be the promised one from the lineage of Muhammad known as the Qa’im by the Shiah and the Imam Mahdi by the Sunnis.
Following his proclamation, the Bab sent messengers to various towns and cities of Iran and Iraq to announce the dawn of a new day. He visited Mecca on pilgrimage where he announced his mission to the pilgrims and the sherif of Mecca. The Bab and his followers suffered a lot of hardship on account of his claim which was seen as detrimental to Islam. This was because the Bab claimed an independant revelation from God just like the Qur’an. Many of the Bab’s followers were killed and many were brutally persecuted. The Bab himself was imprisoned twice and was eventually martyred in Tabriz in 1850. The main mission of the Bab was to prepare the way for the coming of ‘Him whom God shall make manifest’. The Bab claimed that this person would bring a revelation that far surpassed his own revelation.
One of the earliest followers of the Bab was a Persian youth from the sons of an Iranian government minister known as Husayn Ali. He later became known as Baha’u’llah. Baha’u’llah preached the revelation of the Bab in Persia and after the Bab was martyred by a firing squad in Tabriz in 1850, claimed that he had received a new revelation from God. He was later exiled to Iraq by the Persian government and still later called to Istanbul by the Ottoman government who sent him to live in exile in Edirne. From Edirne, Baha’u’llah was once again banished to the great prison city of Acre in Palestine. From there, Baha’u’llah wrote letters to the world leaders of his time, inviting them towards peace and consultation. He revealed a new Holy Book known as the Kitab-i Aqdas. He passed away in Palestine in 1892.