For Bahá’ís, Ridvan is the most sacred time of the year, and the holiest of all festivals.
The word Ridvan is an Arabic word that broadly means “Paradise”. The festival commemorates the twelve days Baha’u’llah spent in a garden in Baghdad while preparing to leave for Constantinople (the capital of Turkey, now Istanbul), wishing farewell to its residents. It was then that He first told people of His station as a Manifestation of God.
There are no exact details on how this happened. It is generally believed that Baha’u’llah probably chose to tell just a few close companions , first hand accounts come from His son and daughter, Abdu’l-
It had been ten years since Baha’u’llah’s first banishment from Tehran in Persia to Baghdad in modern-
When the officials of the Persian government exiled Baha’u’llah to Baghdad, it was to stamp out his growing popularity. After ten years, they realised this wasn’t working, and pressured the Ottoman government to move Him much further away to Istanbul (then known as Constantinople) the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Baha’u’llah had become a very highly respected figure in Baghdad society, and the summons had to be offered as a polite invitation.
Baha’u’llah pitched His tent in a garden outside the city, over the river Tigris, on 21st April, so He could bid farewell to visitors in a place other than His house so it was easier for His family to pack. The next day He left His House in Baghdad for the last time a day later and travelled to the garden. A crowd had gathered to see Baha’u’llah leave – Babi and non-
Most Baha’i elections are held during Ridvan, a practice which started in Abdu’l-
13 Jalál to 5 Jamál
(21 April -