The Baha’i faithful in Malawi will on 21st and 22nd October join their fellows for the first time on a global basis to celebrate “Twin Holy Days” associated with the birthdays of the two Founders of their religion.
They will be celebrating the 200th birthday of their twin manifestations of The Bab and Baha‘u’llah.
The Bab is the forerunner of Baha‘u’llah likened to John the Baptist who came before Jesus Christ and was born in 1819 on 22 October and Baha ‘u’llah who is the main manifestation of God who started the Baha’i faith was born on 21 October, 1817.
The Baha’i faith is the most recent addition to the progressive revelation from God that addresses humanity’s present day needs, started as recent as 1834.
A member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is in Malawi Tim Kuwali said an interview that the celebrations will be used as an opportunity to further magnify the Baha’i faith which has remained relatively unknown in the country despite being around in the country since 1953.
“Baha’i is an independent religion. But even so we believe Baha‘u’llah came for all human kind and for this reason we are inviting everyone regardless of one’s faith to come and be part of these celebrations which happen once every 100 years.
“During the celebrations we will take the opportunity to tell people of who really the Baha’is are and what they do in the society,” said Kuwali.
The main national celebrations in Lilongwe will start with a big walk which will end up at the Baha’i Centre in Area 14 where prayers and other activities will take place. There will also be other celebrations in other districts like Mulanje and Zomba.
According to Kuwali several high profile dignitaries have been invited to be part of the celebrations.
Baha’is are the followers of Baha‘u’llah who is regarded as the manifestation of God and equivalent of Jesus Christ in the Christian faith, Muhammad in Islamic faith and Buddha in Buddhism.
“To us religion is one as started by Abraham who was the first man on earth but it is only renewed at different times. When God wants to tell us something he sends a messenger to tell us like he did with Moses when he brought us the Ten Commandments,” Kuwali said.
Today’s Baha’i community in Malawi is comprised of Baha’is from villages, cities and from numerous tribes who speak different languages. Baha’is hold regular children’s classes and study circles, perform in choirs and undertake social and economic development projects.
The Bambino School, a Baha’i initiative, has an enrolment of 1,100 from nursery level to secondary school and secretarial college.
These results have come after years of effort. By 1970 there were 12 Local Spiritual Assemblies, enough for the country to have its own National Spiritual Assembly, which was elected in the presence of Hand of the Cause Paul Haney.
In 1975, the first Baha’i book — about teaching classes — was translated into Chichewa, and that work has continued with expansion into the Tonga and Tumbuka languages. In 1985, as a contribution to the International Youth Year, Baha’i youth planted fuel wood and fruit trees throughout the country, benefiting entire villages.
In 1982 and 1992, Malawi hosted international summer schools with participants from 17 and 10 countries respectively.
The Baha’i National Center in Lilongwe was completed in March 2000.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :