The Early Life of Bahá'u'lláh
In October 1835, Bahá'u'lláh married `Asiyih Khanum, the daughter of another nobleman. They had three children: a son, `Abdu'l-Bahá, born in 1844; a daughter, Bahiyyih, born in 1846; and a son, Mihdi, born in 1848.
Bahá'u'lláh declined the ministerial career open to Him in government, and chose instead to devote His energies to a range of philanthropies which had, by the early 1840s, earned Him widespread renown as "Father of the Poor." This privileged existence swiftly eroded after 1844, when
Bahá'u'lláh became one of the leading advocates of the Bábi movement.
Precursor to the Bahá'í Faith, the Bábi movement swept Iran like a whirlwind--and stirred intense persecution from the religious establishment. After the execution of its Founder, the
Báb, Bahá'u'lláh was arrested and brought, in chains and on foot, to Tehran. Influential members of the court and the clergy demanded a death sentence.
Bahá'u'lláh, however, was protected by His personal reputation and the social position of His family, as well as by protests from Western embassies.
Therefore, He was cast into the notorious "Black Pit," the Siyah-Chal in Persian. Authorities hoped this would result in His death. Instead, the dungeon became the birthplace for a new religious revelation.
Bahá'u'lláh spent four months in the Black Pit, during which time he contemplated the full extent of His mission. "I was but a man like others, asleep upon My couch, when lo, the breezes of the All-Glorious were wafted over Me, and taught Me the knowledge of all that hath been," He later wrote. "This thing is not from Me, but the One Who is Almighty and All-Knowing. And He bade Me lift up My voice between earth and heaven..."