1844 The Báb ("Gate")|
The Bahá'í Faith dawned on 22 May 1844 when Mirza 'Ali-Muhammad of Shiraz, known as the Báb, the Gate, arose to fulfil His twofold mission, infusing the land with wonderful spiritual attractions and heralding to the world One Who was immensely greater than Himself, Who would inaugurate a fresh and unprecedented era in the spiritual history of mankind. The Báb's untold sufferings and imprisonments, the heroism and sacrifices of His disciples, the circumstances of His tragic martyrdom and the afflictions experienced by His community, are vividly detailed in every book exploring the Faith.
1863 Bahá'u'lláh ("Splendour of God")|
The One foretold by the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, the Splendour of God, arose in 1863 whilst an exile in Baghdad, attracting all around by His spiritual presence, transforming people to great spiritual heights, admonishing the kings and powers of the world, laying down the divine principles of a new civilization. Bitterly opposed and stripped of all property and rights, reliant solely upon God, exiled to Iraq, Constantinople, Adrianople, and incarcerated in the penal colony of 'Akká, Bahá'u'lláh suffered untold sufferings, yet conquered every challenge and adversity that rose up against Him, passing eventually from this world in 1892.
1892 Abdu'l-Bahá (Interpreter)|
The authorized Interpreter and personal Example of Bahá'í teachings, was Bahá'u'lláh's most remarkable eldest son 'Abdu'l-Bahá (Servant of Bahá). Bahá'u'lláh appointed Abdu'l-Bahá as the Centre to whom all should turn for instruction and guidance. Ever since a child, 'Abdu'l-Bahá shared all the sorrows and sufferings of Bahá'u'lláh. He remained a prisoner until 1908, when the regime in Turkey became overthrown and religious and political prisoners liberated. Whilst continuing to make Palestine his home, Abdu'l-Bahá undertook extensive tours of Egypt, Europe and America, as well as visiting London, Edinburgh and Bristol in the United Kingdom, ceaselessly explaining and exemplifying the principles of the Bahá'í Faith, inspiring and directing the activities of friends and followers throughout the world, transforming the lives, hearts and minds of all levels of society, interacting freely and wholly at home with both the prominent and the down-trodden. He passed away in 1921 in Haifa, Palestine.
1921 Shoghi Effendi (Guardian)|
Abdu'l-Bahá appointed his grandson Shoghi Effendi to succeed him as Guardian of the Faith, who raised up and established the framework of the Bahá'í Faith. Shoghi Effendi passed away in 1957, and in 1963 the Universal House of Justice was established as the central guiding institution of the Faith.
Today the Bahá'í Faith is numbered around six million adherents, and is the second-most geographically widespread religion in the world after Christianity.
The Bahá'í Faith began to take firm root in Stornoway itself from 1953, and has since that time grown in different areas of the Isle of Lewis, North and South Uist, and Barra.
The Isle of Lewis recently celebrated 100 years of the visit of Abdu'l-Baha to the British Isles, with a monthly programme of events.