Bahá`u`lláh, whose name means "The Glory of God" in Arabic, was born on 12 November 1817 in Tehran. The son of a wealthy government minister, Mirza Buzurg-i-Nuri, His given name was Husayn-`Ali and His family could trace its ancestry back to the great dynasties of Iran`s imperial past. Bahá`u`lláh led a princely life as a young man, receiving an education that focused largely on horsemanship, swordsmanship, calligraphy and classic poetry.
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.
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.
It was in Acre that Bahá`u`lláh`s most important work was written. Known more commonly among Bahá`ís by its Persian name, the Kitab-i-Aqdas(the Most Holy Book), it outlines the essential laws and principles that are to be observed by His followers, and lays the groundwork for Bahá`í administration.
In the late 1870s, Bahá`u`lláh was given the freedom to move outside the city`s walls, and His followers were able to meet with Him in relative peace and freedom. He took up residence in an abandoned mansion and was able to further devote Himself to writing.
On 29 May 1892, Bahá`u`lláh passed away. His remains were laid to rest in a garden room adjoining the restored mansion, which is known as Bahji. For Bahá`ís, this spot is the most holy place on earth.