Founders and History


On the evening of May 22, 1844, the Báb declared His Mission in this room
(pictured) in the Persian city of Shiraz

The Bahá’í Faith is the youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions. Founded in Iran in 1844, it now has more than five million adherents in 236 countries and territories. Bahá’ís come from nearly every national, ethnic and religious background, making the Bahá’í Faith the second-most-widespread religion in the world.

Bahá’ís view the world’s major religions as a part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity. Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, is recognized as the most recent in a line of Divine Messengers that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad.

The central theme of Bahá’u’lláh’s message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for humanity’s unification into one global society. While reaffirming the core ethical principles common to all religions, Bahá’u’lláh also revealed new laws and teachings to lay the foundations of a global civilization. “A new life,” Bahá’u’lláh declared, “is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth.”

The worldwide Bahá’í community, composed of people from virtually every racial, ethnic and religious background, is working to give practical expression to Bahá’u’lláh’s vision of world unity. We invite you to learn more about the Bahá’í Faith and benefit from the spiritual and practical insights found in the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, God’s message for humanity in this day.

Bahá’u’lláh, The Promised One of All Ages

Bahá’u'lláh (1817-1892) announced in 1863 that He was God’s Messenger for this age. His teachings and sacred writings form the basis of the Bahá’í Faith. …more

The Báb, The Gate to the Bahá’í Faith

The Báb (1819-1850), Who’s title means “the Gate” in Arabic, was the Herald or Forerunner of Bahá’u'lláh. He announced in 1844, in Shiraz, Persia, that He was the bearer of a Divine Revelation. …more

Abdu’l-Bahá, the Exemplar of Bahá’í Life

Abdu’l-Bahá (1844-1921), Bahá’u’lláh’s son and appointed successor, was the authorized interpreter of Bahá’u’lláh’s writings and the perfect exemplar of Bahá’í life. …more

Shoghi Effendi, The Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith

Shoghi Effendi (1896-1957), known as “the Guardian” of the Bahá’í Faith, was the eldest grandson of Abdu’l Bahá, and the great-grandson of the Faith’s Prophet-Founder, Bahá’u’lláh. …more

Bahá’í Sacred Writings

In addition to the writings of Bahá’u'lláh, Bahá’ís also recognize as divine scripture the writings of His Herald, the Báb; the Quran; the Old and New Testaments; and the sacred writings of Buddhism, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism. …more

Baha’i Shrines and Holy Places

Bahá’u'lláh indicated that the world center for the Faith He had founded would be in the Haifa-Akka area in the north of what is now Israel. …more

Quick History of the Bahá’í Faith

A short history of the Bahá’í Faith from its birth in mid-19th century Persia (now Iran) to its emergence as a world religion with more than five million adherents from virtually every nation and ethnic group on earth. …more

U.S. Bahá’í history

The Bahá’í Faith was first mentioned in the United States in 1893 at the World’s Parliament of Religions held during the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. …more