Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha: Baha’is recall life and death of Baha’u’llah’s son

“It is indeed strange that in an age of gross materialism and lack of faith a great philosopher such as he whom we mourn—Abdu’l-Baha Abbas—should appear. He satisfies our thirsty souls with teachings and principles that are the basis of all religion and morality.”
Jewish friend Salomon Bouzaglo in a speech at the funeral of Abdu’l-Baha

Black-and-white photo of man with white beard and white head covering

Abdu’l-Baha, 1912. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

SUNDOWN THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27: Baha’is worldwide celebrated the Day of the Covenant earlier this week, and faith figure Abdu’l-Baha is called to mind once again on the Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha. On this date in 1921, the son of Baha’u’llah—the Center of the Covenant—passed peacefully in his home. Following his death, mourners poured into Haifa for his funeral.

Notable Christians, Muslims and Jews all spoke at Abud’l-Baha’s funeral, collectively mourning the one who had passed. (Learn more from Bahai.org.) Between 1892 and 1921, Abdu’l-Baha led the Baha’i religion, exemplifying his faith through compassion, acceptance of all religions and peoples, and as an ambassador of peace. Abdu’l-Baha affirmed that, “Love is the most great law.”

Following several decades of working for the Baha’i faith and traveling widely to promote peace, Abdu’l-Baha died peacefully in his home, surrounded by family. As news of his funeral spread, the services drew crowds of “no less than ten thousand,” wrote a British High Commissioner, of the events. Similarly, the Governor of Jerusalem penned, “I have never known a more united expression of regret and respect than was called forth by the utter simplicity of the ceremony.” The coffin of Abdu’l-Baha was taken to its final resting place—in a vault on the north side of the Shrine of the Bab.

 

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