The Names of the Bahá’í Months: Separating Fact from Fiction

Dr. Moojan Momen

In one of the forums for the course on The Writings of the Báb, a student asked this question: “If Nineteen Day Feasts are named after attributes of God how can “Questions” be an attribute?” Faculty member Dr. Moojan Momen, answered with a lesson about historical Iran and Shí’í Islam:

The key to answering the question, Dr. Momen said, lies in the first part of the question: “If Nineteen Day Feasts are named after attributes of God.”

Who says that the Nineteen Day Feasts are named after attributes of God? The names of the months of the Badí` calendar (the Bábí/Bahá’í calendar) were taken from a Shí’í dawn prayer (Du`á Sahar) for the month of the Islamic Fast (Ramadán) revealed by the Fifth Shí’í Imám, Muhammad al-Báqir, who urged his followers to recite the prayer because,

if people knew the greatness (‘azamat) of this supplication before God, the speed with which it would [enable the devotee to] be answered, they would certainly kill each other with swords in order to obtain it. And if I took an oath that the ism Allāh al-a`am (Most Great Name of God) is in this prayer, I would be stating the truth. Thus, when you recite this supplication, recite it with all concentration and humility and keep it hidden from other than his people [i.e. non-Shí’ís]. (All translations are by Stephen N. Lambden and may be found in http://www.hurqalya.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/03-Biblical-islam-BBst/dawnP.htm.)

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