Ask a Baha’i: Meaning of Bahá’u’lláh’s Given Name

Ask a Baha’i: Meaning of Bahá’u’lláh’s Given Name

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By Daniel Pschaida

Bahá’u’lláh’s name was Husayn-`Ali Nuri, and his father’s name was Mirza Abbas Nuri. So, “Nuri” means “from Nur” as they came from Nur, Iran?

That is correct. 

Bahá’u’lláh’s given name was Ḥusayn ‘Alí.  

Mírzá is a Persian title or prefix of respect like how we use “Mr.” or “Sir” in English.   

Ḥusayn and ‘Alí are popular names among Muslims, as ‘Alí (601-661 C.E.) was the first male to believe in the Prophet Muhammad, Muhammad’s son-in-law, the fourth Caliph, and the first Imam (in Shiite Islam). Ḥusayn (626-680 C.E.) was the son of ‘Alí and the third Imam who was martyred in tragic circumstances and is much commemorated.   

Núr or Núrí signifies that Bahá’u’lláh family came from the city and area of Núr in the province of Mazandaran, on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea.   

“Núr” may also be significant for Bahá’ís as it literally means “light,” and Bahá’ís believe the light of his teachings will illumine the Earth with universal justice, peace, and unity for all peoples.   

Ḥusayn ‘Alí of Núr (1817-1892 C.E.) began to use the title Bahá’u’lláh, which means “the glory of God” in Arabic, in the late 1840s until He was known almost exclusively by that title in the last decades of his life. 

Here is a very recent, recommended FāVS article, by Mr. Peter Haug, introducing Bahá’u’lláh in more detail.

About Daniel Pschaida

Daniel Pschaida hails from San Diego and married into the Spokane area where he has made his home for over two years. Passionate about Spokane’s interfaith movement, the NBA, Harry Potter books, and nature hikes with his wife Tiara, he also teaches comparative religion and humanities at Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga.

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