Local Bahá’is will join Bahá’is worldwide beginning April 21 to celebrate the annual Festival of Ridván. The word “Ridván” means “Paradise.”
For 12 days from April 21 to May 2, 1863, Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, resided in a garden of Baghdad that he dubbed “the Garden of Ridván.”
There Bahá’u’lláh publicly proclaimed his mission as God’s messenger for this age.
At the time of his proclamation, Bahá’u’lláh was an exile in Baghdad, banished from his native Persia because of his teachings.
The Bahá’í Faith teaches the oneness of God, the oneness of religion, and the oneness of mankind.
Bahá’ís believe that in every age, God sends a divine educator, a manifestation of God, whose purpose is to restate and renew the eternal truths of religion and to address the specific needs of the age in which he appears.
They believe that Bahá’u’lláh is the manifestation of God, whose purpose is to restate and renew the eternal truths of religion and to address the specific needs of the age in which he appears.
This “spiritual springtime” as it is called in the Bahá’í writings, when the efforts of all the previous messengers of God, such as Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Christ, Muhammad, and Bahá’u’lláh’s prophet-herald, the Báb, will blossom and bear their fruit.
Thus, the occurrence of the Festival of Ridván at the height of the spring season bears a special significance for Bahá’ís.
In his writings, Bahá’u’lláh promulgates the equality of men and women, the essential harmony of science and religion, the independent investigation of truth, economic justice based upon spiritual principles, the urgent need for the elimination of all forms of prejudice, universal compulsory education, and international auxiliary language, and a world government for the maintenance of a lasting peace.