Baha’i, Muslim, Christian & Jew mark Abdu’l-Baha Ascension

Upward of 10,000 mourners of every religion and ethnic group in the Holy Land gathered for Abdu’l-Baha’s funeral in 1921. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons“Lament for yourselves, for yours is the loss, whilst he, your lost one, is but a Wayfarer, stepping from your mortal world … And he that leaveth a memory so lovely, so imperishable, he, indeed, is not dead.”

– Muslim Orator Yusaf al-Khatib, in a speech at Abdu’l-Baha’s funeral

SUNSET TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27: In the darkness of the early morning, Baha’is will gather in solemnity to mark the 1 a.m. passing of a modern prophet: Abdu’l-Baha, the Center of the Covenant. According to accounts, the Master took final breaths in his home on Nov. 28, 1921, at age 77. Abdu’l-Baha had led the Baha’i community from 1892 to 1921, gathering worshippers from various faiths and earning knightship from Queen Victoria for humanitarian services. Several noted writers spoke to the crowd of 10,000 at his funeral in Haifa, Israel.

Reports say that mourners of Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze descent all came to Haifa to grieve the passing of Abdu’l-Baha; Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Armenians and many other ethnic groups gathered in peace at his funeral. The British High Commissioner commented that Abdu’l-Baha’s funeral was “a funeral the like of which Palestine had never seen … representing every class, religion and race in that country.” The Governor of Jerusalem commented, “I have never known a more united expression of regret and respect than was called forth by the utter simplicity of the ceremony.” To mark this day in their history and faith, Baha’is gather for readings, prayers and reflection on the teaching and living message of Abdu’l-Baha.

Among the final speakers at Abdu’l-Baha’s funeral was Jewish leading figure Salomon Bouzaglo, who declared: “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. In Europe, in America, in every country, people athirst for social justice and brotherhood also weep for Him.”

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