Bahá’u’lláh was an Iranian prophet who found the Bahá’í Faith, an Abrahamic religion in the early stages of 1800’s in Iran. He is considered as a divine messenger and often referred in the same breath as Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad, and many other prophets the world has known. Recently, an exhibition that recycles the prophet’s famous religious writings and other archives has been opened at the British Museum.
The exhibition pays a tribute on the occasion of the 200th birth anniversary of prophet Bahá’u’lláh which was grandly celebrated in the month of October. The exhibition is running in Room 34 gallery of the British Museum as of now and will be open to public until January 2018. Featuring in the exhibit is the ‘Reed Pen of Bahá’u’lláh’ with which the prophet wrote more than 100 volumes of calligraphically scripted text that signaled his vision for mankind and a world characterized by peace and harmony.
The prophet was a firm believer in the power of the written and divine word often referred to as gospel in Christianity. In fact, even in a world driven by technology and virtual reality, the prophet’s vision rings true even now having given birth to a faith long back. Bahá’u’lláh had written many of the verses in his own handwriting and was an expert calligrapher. The prophet also had transcribers especially Mírzá Áqá Ján, who took down scribes of the verses in written form on paper using the Reed pens of the prophet.
The gospels were chanted aloud by the prophet and the verses written down by his ‘amanuensis’, who’s a literary assistant. In fact, this was referred to as ‘Revelation Writing’. Interestingly, Mírzá Áqá Ján had a hard time understanding his handwritten notes and had to seek the help of the prophet to decipher the verses transcribed. He would also approve the copy with a seal. In fact, the followers of the prophet would take the copy and turn them into bindings, and share the same with people in India, China, and even Middle East.
These verses are on display in the British Museum guided tour alongside ‘The Hidden Words’, a collection of verses that represent the core of the message conveyed by the prophet. Many of his works are being lent by the British Museum from International Baha’i Archives in Haifa, where Bahá’u’lláh was demised in the year 1892.