For many centuries the Holy Land has been a place of religious pilgrimage. With the increase of knowledge many other interests (archaeology, history, natural history, and, more recently, geology and sociology) have attracted visitors. But with this diversification of interest, the religious attraction of the Holy Land has been reinforced by the establishment in it of the holiest places of the most modern of the great world religions.
On the slopes of Carmel and northwards in 'Akká and its neighbourhood the Bahá'í Faith has founded its spiritual and administrative World Centre, to which large numbers of Bahá'ís make pilgrimage every year. Their purpose is to pray and meditate in the Shrines of the Founders of their Faith and to visit the many historical sites and buildings associated with Them. From their sojourn in these sanctified places, set amidst the beauty of the Bahá'í gardens, they receive an accession of spiritual strength which enables them to take up with renewed vigour their task of promoting the unity of mankind.
(Inside Cover (Map):)
BAHÁ'Í HOLY PLACES IN 'AKKÁ AND HAIFA
('Akká) "The Most Great Prison"
On His arrival in 'Akká Bahá'u'lláh was imprisoned in the Barracks for 2 years, 2 months, and 5 days. It was towards the end of this period that the Purest Branch sacrificed his life. On leaving the Barracks Bahá'u'lláh, after living for a short time in various houses, moved eventually to the House of 'Abbúd in which He spent approximately 7 years, during which time the Kitáb-i-Aqdas was revealed.
(The Plain of 'Akká) "The Banquet Hall of God"
(Haifa) Bahá'u'lláh visited Haifa on 4 occasions, pitching His tent on Mount Carmel. On one of these visits He revealed the Tablet of Carmel and on another He designated the site for the Shrine of the Báb.
(Mount Carmel) Shrine of the Báb
(Mazra'ih) Bahá'u'lláh lived at Mazra'ih for approximately 2 years before going to Bahjí.
(Bahjí) In the Mansion of Bahjí Bahá'u'lláh lived approximately 12 years. His Shrine nearby is the Qiblih of the Bahá'í world.
(Ridván Garden) Designated by Bahá'u'lláh "the New Jerusalem" and "Our Verdant Isle".
(Back Cover (Map):)
THE VOYAGE OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH FROM THE LAND OF MYSTERY TO THE MOST GREAT PRISON IN THE HOLY LAND AUGUST 1868
(Adrianople, Uzún-Kuprí, Kashánih, Gallipoli) Bahá'u'lláh left Adrianople on Wednesday 12th August 1868 A.D. and journeyed via Uzúz-Kuprí and Kashánih to Gallipoli. This journey took about 4 days. After a few days' stay in Gallipoli He sailed in an Austrian steamer before noon, arriving in Madellí about sunset, and leaving at night for Smyrna where He stayed 2 days.
(Alexandria) Bahá'u'lláh arrived in the morning, trans-shipped, and left at night.
(Port Said) Bahá'u'lláh arrived in the morning and left the same night.
(Jaffa) Bahá'u'lláh left Jaffa at midnight.
(Haifa) Bahá'u'lláh reached Haifa in the morning of 31st August 1868, landed, and after a few hours, left by sailing vessel for 'Akká.
ii-iii (color--all others back and white): The Haram-i-Aqdas, the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh and the Mansion of Bahjí
12-13: The walled city of 'Akká, showing the fortress and its moats (see page 10)
The two windows on the right are those of the room occupied by Bahá'u'lláh (see page 14)
The room in the prison occupied by Bahá'u'lláh (see pages 14-15)
The House of 'Abbúd (see page 17)
20-21: Two views of the Garden of Ridván (see page 20)
Khán-i-'Avámíd (see page 19)
28-29: Aerial view of Bahjí. New gardens similar to the quadrant in the centre are being constructed on the right
Central upstairs hall of the Mansion of Bahjí
36-37: View, through the Collins Gate, of the main approach to the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh
The Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh
44-45: Aerial view of holy places and endowments on Mount Carmel. Note the arc to the left of the International Archives Building
Looking across the roof of the International Archives Building
The Shrine of the Báb where 'Abdu'l-Bahá also is laid to rest
The Shrine of the Báb floodlit at night
68-69: Left: Shrine of the Greatest Holy Leaf
Right: Shrine of Munírih Khánum
Above: Shrines of the Purest Branch and Navváb
Left: The Pilgrim House
84-85: Left: The House of the Master
Right: The seat of The Universal House of Justice
The Aqueduct (see page 88)
The Temple site (see page 83)
© The Universal House of Justice 1968
Copyright under the Berne Convention
Set in 12 on 14 Bembo
and printed in England by the Broadwater Press Limited
Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire
| STAGES OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH'S JOURNEY TO AND SOJOURN IN THE HOLY LAND||xi|
|1. THE BANISHMENTS OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH||1|
|2. PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND||5|
|3. THE HOLY LAND||8|
| The Barracks|
| The House of 'Abbúd|
| The Ridván Garden|
| 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Life in 'Akká after Renewal of Incarceration, 1901-1908|
| The Mansion|
| The Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh|
| Mount Carmel|
| The Shrine of the Báb|
| The Shrine of 'Abdu'l-Bahá|
| The House of the Master|
| The International Archives Building|
| The Monument Gardens|
| The Greatest Holy Leaf|
| The Purest Branch|
| Munírih Khánum|
| The Arc and the World Administrative Centre|
| The Temple Site|
| The Pilgrim House, Haifa|
| The Office of the Universal House of Justice|
| The Aqueduct|
List of Illustrations
|The walled city of 'Akká, showing the fortress and its moats||12|
|Corner of the Most Great Prison showing windows of room occupied by Bahá'u'lláh||inset between pp. 12 and 13|
|Room in the prison occupied by Bahá'u'lláh||inset between pp. 12 and 13|
|The House of 'Abbúd||13|
|Two views of the Garden of Ridván||20|
|Aerial view of Bahjí||28|
|The Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh||inset between pp. 28 and 29|
|Central hall of the Mansion at Bahjí|
|View through the Collins Gate of the main approach to the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh||36|
|The Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh||37|
|Aerial view of Bahá'í endowments on Mt. Carmel||44|
|Looking across the roof of the International Archives Building||inset between pp. 44 and 45|
|The Shrine of the Báb where 'Abdu'l-Bahá also is laid to rest||inset between pp. 44 and 45|
|The Shrine of the Báb flood-lit at night||45|
|Shrine of the Greatest Holy Leaf|
Shrine of Munírih Khánum
|Shrines of the Purest Branch and Navváb|
The Pilgrim House
|The House of the Master|
The seat of the Universal House of Justice
The Temple site
The observances to commemorate the centenary of Bahá'u'lláh's voyage on the Mediterranean Sea to His final imprisonment and exile in the Holy Land provide a befitting occasion for the publication of this book in durable form. It originally comprised mimeographed sheets, clipped together in a folder, for the use of Bahá'í pilgrims visiting the Holy Places of their Faith at its World Centre. Enlarged, and with illustrations it is now offered for general use as a source of Bahá'í study and interest.
Historically the Holy Land has exercised an influence in human affairs beyond all proportion to its size and will continue to do so in the future. Now that we are approaching world order–the purpose of the Bahá'í Faith–it becomes of supreme interest that this world religion has established in that land both its spiritual and administrative centres. To 'Akká, "the silver city", and to Mount Carmel, the "mountain of God" and their environs comes an ever-increasing stream of pilgrims and visitors. It is hoped that this book will be of use and interest to them.
STAGES OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH'S JOURNEY TO AND SOJOURN IN THE HOLY LAND
|The journey of Bahá'u'lláh and His companions from Gallipoli to Haifa lasted (from August 21, 1868 to August 31, 1868)||11 days|
|Bahá'u'lláh and His party were then transferred from the steamer carrying them to Haifa, to a sailing vessel, which arrived in 'Akká on the afternoon of August 31, 1868. The time spent in Haifa was||a few hours|
|The total period of the sojourn of Bahá'u'lláh in the Holy Land was (from August 31, 1868 to May 29, 1892)||24 years|
The buildings and houses occupied by Bahá'u'lláh during this period were as follows:
|1. The Barracks, 'Akká||2 years, 2 months and 5 days|
|2. Houses of Málik, Khavvám and Rabí'ih||About 10 months|
|3. House of 'Abbúd1||Approximately 7 years|
|4. Ridván Garden||Occasional visits|
|5. Mazra'ih Mansion||Approximately 2 years|
|6. Bahjí Mansion||Approximately2 12 years|
|Total 24 years|
|1 From the Prison, Bahá'u'lláh was transferred directly to the House of Málik, thence to the Houses of Khavvám and Rabí'ih and finally to the House of 'Abbúd. We own and visit only the House of 'Abbúd, the most important of them.|
|2 Towards the end of this period Bahá'u'lláh visited Haifa four times. His last visit to Haifa lasted three months.|
THE BANISHMENTS OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH
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2-3 GPB 404
3 GPB 179, 182
4 GPB 185
4 GPB 183
PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND
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5 GPB 177
5-6 BNE 43
6 GPB XVII-XVIII
7 ADJ 3-4 [Ed. - online version p. 4]
"HAIL SUCCESS ENTERPRISE1 PRESAGING DAY DESTINED WITNESS AS ENVISAGED BY 'ABDU'L-BAHÁ PILGRIM KINGS ASCENDING THIS ROUTE PAY HUMBLE TRIBUTE MARTYR-HEARALD FAITH BAHÁ'U'LLÁH." (From cablegram of Shoghi Effendi, dated April 2, 1951)
1 The construction of nine terraces on Mount Carmel.
THE HOLY LAND
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8-9 GPB 183-184
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The House of 'Abbúd
What is known as the House of 'Abbúd in 'Akká in two parts: the eastern part which was known as "the house of 'Údí Khammár", and the western part, which was the house of 'Abbúd.
The eastern section was so insufficient to the needs of Bahá'u'lláh and His family that no less than thirteen persons of both sexes had to accommodate themselves in one of its rooms.
Bahá'u'lláh had one room of the eastern section to Himself, and it was there that He revealed His Book of Laws, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Circa 1873). At the time of the wedding of 'Abdu'l-Bahá one room, which is now situated between the two sections of the House, was built by 'Abbúd, and the wedding took place there. Subsequently, 'Abbúd turned over the western part to Bahá'u'lláh. Bahá'u'lláh then gave His room in the eastern part to 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and occupied one of the rooms of the western section, which pilgrims are now able to visit.
It was during the period of Bahá'u'lláh's stay in the House of Údí Khammár that a group of Bahá'ís, defying Bahá'u'lláh's specific command, murdered three Azalís who had been sent to 'Akká with Bahá'u'lláh. The animosity and slander against the exiles after this incident reached such a pitch that the children of the exiles were stoned on sight, while 'Abbúd himself, whose residence was next door to that of Bahá'u'lláh, was so influenced
by what he heard against his now suspected Neighbour, that he reinforced the partition that separated his house from the dwelling of Bahá'u'lláh.
Bahá'ú'lláh stayed in this house, in both parts, for seven years. During the latter years of His life, He also occasionally visited this house.
After the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh, 'Abdu'l-Bahá continued to stay in that house, and it was while He was there that the rebellion of the Arch-Breaker of His Father's Covenant began.
The Guardian refers to this house as "the scene of prolonged afflictions sustained by Founder of Faith, as well as supreme crisis suffered by 'Abdu'l-Bahá at hands of Covenant-breakers."
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18-19 GPB 213
At the time of the transfer of Bahá'u'lláh, of His family and of His companions from the barracks to make room for the Turkish troops, most of His companions were consigned to a caravansarai, named the Khán-i-'Avámíd (Inn of the Pillars).1 The Bahá'ís lived mostly in the western and southern wings of the caravansarai on the top floor. One of the rooms was occupied by the Master. He entertained guests and pilgrims in that room where He also made them ready before attaining the presence of Bahá'u'lláh.
As the companions took up residence in other houses, the Khán-i-'Avámíd became the first Bahá'í Pilgrim House of the Holy Land. Such eminent early believers as Mishkín-Qalam, Jináb-i-Zayn, and Hájí Mírzá Haydar-'Alí have stayed in and lived in this caravansarai. The means of comfort were so limited, and food was so scarce that each loaf of Arab bread, normally adequate for one meal for one person, had to be divided into four portions, for the four periods of the day. All other food had to be strictly divided and assigned. When beans were served, the seeds were counted and a share allotted to each person.
1 Built in 1785. The Turkish tower at the entrance of the inn was built in 1906 to commemorate the
jubilee of Sultán 'Abdu'l-Hamíd.
(Page and Source)
The Ridván Garden
20 GPB 192-193
'Abdu'l-Bahá's Life in 'Akká after Renewal of Incarceration, 1901-1908
20-21 GPB 264-265
21-22 GPB 266-267
23-28 GPB 269-272
(Page and Source)
29-31 BNE 44-46
(The following two extracts are from an article entitled Treasured Memories, published in World Order Magazine, iv, 10, written by Mrs Lilian McNeill, who was a personal childhood friend of Queen Marie of Rumania. The McNeills lived in the Mansion of Mazra'ih for a number of years.)
"It was in May, 1931 when my husband retired from Government service that we took a lease of this house and it was our great privilege to be able to restore it, and
make a garden–a proper setting for a dwelling with such sacred associations. Although we found it a good deal altered on the second floor from the time when Bahá'u'lláh lived there, the main features are unchanged, the vaulted rooms on the ground floor particularly.
"There is a rough cement floor in the room downstairs which was Bahá'u'lláh's own special room. This remains as I found it, in the belief that tHis feet may have trodden it...
"ANNOUNCE FRIENDS DELIVERY AFTER MORE THAN FIFTY YEARS KEYS QASR MAZRA'IH BY ISRAEL AUTHORITIES STOP HISTORIC DWELLING PLACE BAHÁ'U'LLÁH AFTER LEAVING PRISON CITY 'AKKÁ NOW BEING FURNISHED ANTICIPATION OPENING DOOR PILGRIMAGE." (Cablegram from Shoghi Effendi dated December 15, 1950.)
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33 BNE 44-46
33-34 GPB 193
34 GPB 194
35 GPB 222
35 GPB 247
35-36 MBW 108-109
36-37 GPB 356
The Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh
37-38 GPB 222
38-39 GPB 355
"SIGNAL SUCCESS REMOVAL RUINS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWED LANDSCAPING APPROACHES SHRINE ERECTION GATE EMBELLISHMENT SURROUNDINGS TOMB BAHÁ'U'LLÁH LONG DENIED BEFITTING ENTRANCE THROUGH DELIBERATE OBSTRUCTION ENEMIES FAITH STOP PUBLIC ACCESS HEART QIBLIH BAHÁ'Í WORLD NOW MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH TRAVERSING SACRED PRECINCTS LEADING SUCCESSIVELY HOLY COURT OUTER INNER SANCTUARIES BLESSED THRESHOLD HOLY HOLIES STOP RECENT EVENTS PRELUDE ACQUISITION DEVELOPMENT OVER THIRTY ACRES PROPERTY SURROUNDING BAHÁ'U'LLÁH'S RESTING PLACE PAVING WAY ERECTION COURSE FUTURE DECADES BEFITTING MAUSOLEUM DESTINED ENSHRINE DUST FOUNDER GOD'S MOST HOLY FAITH." (From cablegram of Shoghi Effendi, dated June 11, 1952)
"ANNOUNCE BAHÁ'Í COMMUNITIES EAST WEST JOYOUS OCCASION HUNDRED THIRTYFIFTH ANNIVERSARY BAHÁ'U'LLÁH'S BIRTHDAY SUCCESSFUL TERMINATION PROTRACTED NEGOTIATIONS INITIATED TWO YEARS AGO CULMINATING SIGNATURE CONTRACT PROVIDING EVENTUAL FORMAL TRANSFER BY DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY STATE
ISRAEL TO PALESTINE BRANCH AMERICAN NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY EXTENSIVE LONG DESIRED VITALLY NEEDED PROPERTY SURROUNDING SAFEGUARDING FOR POSTERITY MOST HOLY TOMB FOUNDER FAITH AS WELL AS ADJOINING MANSION STOP ACQUIRED AREA RAISING BAHÁ'Í HOLDINGS HOLY PLAIN 'AKKÁ FROM FOUR THOUSAND TO ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTYFIVE THOUSAND SQUARE METRES EXCHANGED AGAINST PROPERTY DONATED BY CHILDREN ZIKRU'LLÁH GRANDCHILDREN MÍRZÁ MUHAMMAD QULÍ BAHÁ'U'LLÁH'S FAITHFUL HALF BROTHER COMPANION EXILE STOP SPONTANEOUS OFFER CONTRASTS SHAMEFUL ACTION FAMILY SALE TO NON-BAHÁ'ÍS PROPERTY NEIGHBOURHOOD JORDAN VALLEY PURCHASED INSTRUMENTALITY 'ABDU'L-BAHÁ DURING BAHÁ'U'LLÁH'S LIFETIME PURSUANT HIS INSTRUCTIONS ALLUDED HIS WRITINGS STOP FORTY ACRE PROPERTY ACQUIRED SINGLE TRANSACTION ALMOST EQUALS ENTIRE BAHÁ'Í INTERNATIONAL ENDOWMENTS PURCHASED COURSE SIXTY YEARS VICINITY BÁB'S SEPULCHRE SLOPE MOUNT CARMEL STOP EXCHANGE SAID PROPERTY INCLUDING LAND HOUSES MADE POSSIBLE PRECIPITATE FLIGHT FORMER ARAB OWNERS TRADITIONAL SUPPORTERS OLD COVENANT BREAKERS DESCENDANTS NOTORIOUS ENEMY 'ABDU'L-BAHÁ WHO PLACED RESIDENCE DISPOSAL COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION STOP SIGNATURE AGREEMENT SIGNALIZED COMMENCEMENT LARGE SCALE LANDSCAPING AIMING BEAUTIFICATION IMMEDIATE PRECINCTS HOLIEST
SPOT ENTIRE BAHÁ'Í WORLD ITSELF PRELUDE EVENTUAL ERECTION AS HAPPENED CASE BÁB'S SEPULCHRE BEFITTING MAUSOLEUM ENSHRINING PRECIOUS DUST MOST GREAT NAME STOP." (From cablegram of Shoghi Effendi dated November 12, 1952)
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42 GPB 194
42-43 GPB 277-278
43 GPB 315-316
44-45 BNE 303-304
The Shrine of the Báb
45 GPB 274-275
45-46 GPB 273
46-51 GPB 275-277
51 GPB 346
The outermost circle in this vast system, the visible counterpart of the pivotal position conferred on the Herald of our Faith, is none other than the entire planet. Within the heart of this planet lies the “Most Holy Land,” acclaimed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as “the Nest of the Prophets” and which must be regarded as the center of the world and the Qiblih of the nations. Within this Most Holy Land rises the Mountain of God of immemorial sanctity, the Vineyard of the Lord, the Retreat of Elijah, Whose return the Báb Himself symbolizes. Reposing
on the breast of this holy mountain are the extensive properties permanently dedicated to, and constituting the sacred precincts of, the Báb’s holy Sepulcher. In the midst of these properties, recognized as the international endowments of the Faith, is situated the most holy court, an enclosure comprising gardens and terraces which at once embellish, and lend a peculiar charm to, these sacred precincts. Embosomed in these lovely and verdant surroundings stands in all its exquisite beauty the mausoleum of the Báb, the shell designed to preserve and adorn the original structure raised by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the tomb of the Martyr-Herald of our Faith. Within this shell is enshrined that Pearl of Great Price, the holy of holies, those chambers which constitute the tomb itself, and which were constructed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Within the heart of this holy of holies is the tabernacle, the vault wherein reposes the most holy casket. Within this vault rests the alabaster sarcophagus in which is deposited that inestimable jewel, the Báb’s holy dust. So precious is this dust that the very earth surrounding the edifice enshrining this dust has been extolled by the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, in one of His Tablets in which He named the five doors belonging to the six chambers which He originally erected after five of the believers associated with the construction of the Shrine, as being endowed with such potency as to have inspired Him in bestowing these
names, whilst the tomb itself housing this dust He acclaimed as the spot round which the Concourse on high circle in adoration.
The Shrine of 'Abdu'l-Bahá
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53-54 GPB 312-313
54 GPB 346
The House of the Master
“ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Who was eager to complete the construction of the Shrine of the Báb, felt He should personally supervise the erection of the building to expedite the work. He therefore considered the possibility of establishing a house in Haifa where He could be near the building project.
He was delighted when the maidservant of God, Mrs Jackson, a Western believer, volunteered funds for its construction. A plot of land was purchased and the Master designed the plan.
Immediately after the completion of the House, He moved a part of the family, including Shoghi Effendi who was then a young boy, from 'Akká to the new home in Haifa. The Master's sister also joined Him there.
When in September 1910, 'Abdu'l-Bahá left the Holy Land and embarked upon His world travels, His family continued to live in this House. It was here that Shoghi Effendi grew up as an adolescent. It was this House which became 'Abdu'l-Bahá's official residence after His return to the Holy Land in 1913. It was here that He received the pilgrims, from East and West. It was here, after the war, that Shoghi Effendi served as his Grandfather's secretary. It is touching to recall that during this time the beloved Master often went to Shoghi Effendi's room at midnight and urged him to stop writing and rest.
As one enters the House, the room on the right is the one where 'Abdu'l-Bahá took His flight to the Abhá Kingdom. After he was appointed Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi continued the Master's practice of receiving guests in the room on the left, and holding weekly meetings there.
The large central hall of the building is of special significance
in that it was the venue of the gathering which heard the public reading of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá announcing the exalted office occupied by Shoghi Effendi as Guardian of the Faith, and also because it was the place where the first International Convention in 1963 elected the Universal House of Justice.
At the south-western end of the garden adjoining this house, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá built a small structure, and He had the inner walls, the ceiling and the floor of one of its upper rooms covered with wood, as a protection against humidity. It was in this room that He slept at nights during the period immediately before His passing.
"...the Master came in from the solitary room in the garden, which he had occupied of late, and said:
"'I dreamed a dream and behold the Blessed Beauty, (Bahá'u'lláh) came and said unto me, "Destroy this room!"'
"The family, who had been wishing that he would come and sleep in the house, not being happy that he should be alone at night, exclaimed, " Yes Master, we think your dream means that you should leave that room and come into the house." When he heard this from us, he smiled meaningly as though not agreeing with our interpretation. Afterwards we understood that by the "room" was meant the temple of his body.
"His good and faithful servant, Ismá'il-Áqá, relates the following:
""Some time, about twenty days before my Master passed away I was near the garden when I heard him summon an old believer saying:
"'Come with me that we may admire together the beauty of the garden. Behold, what the spirit of devotion is able to achieve! This flourishing place was, a few years ago, but a heap of stones, and now it is verdant with foliage and flowers. My desire is that after I am gone the loved ones may all arise to serve the Divine Cause and, please God, so it shall be. Ere long men will arise who shall bring life to the world.'"
(The Passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, pp. 4 and 6)
The International Archives Building
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57 MBW 74
58 MBW 64
58 MBW 79
59 MBW 126
59-60 GPB 347
The Monument Gardens
60 MA 31
61 GPB 348
61-62 GTT, 72 (GUIDANCE TODAY TOMORROW) [Ed. - also online in Messages to America, p. 33]
The Greatest Holy Leaf
62 GPB 108
"GREATEST HOLY LEAF'S IMMORTAL SPIRIT WINGED ITS FLIGHT GREAT BEYOND STOP COUNTLESS LOVERS HER SAINTLY LIFE IN EAST AND WEST SEIZED WITH PANGS OF ANGUISH PLUNGED IN UNUTTERABLE SORROW HUMANITY SHALL ERE LONG RECOGNIZE ITS IRREPARABLE LOSS STOP OUR BELOVED FAITH WELL NIGH CRUSHED BY DEVASTATING BLOW OF ABDU'L-BAHÁ'S UNEXPECTED ASCENSION NOW LAMENTS PASSING LAST REMNANT OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH ITS MOST EXALTED MEMBER STOP HOLY FAMILY CRUELLY DIVESTED ITS MOST PRECIOUS GREAT ADORNING STOP I FOR MY PART BEWAIL SUDDEN REMOVAL MY SOLE EARTHLY SUSTAINER JOY AND SOLACE OF MY LIFE STOP REMAINS WILL REPOSE VICINITY HOLY SHRINES STOP SO GRIEVOUS
A BEREAVEMENT NECESSITATES SUSPENSION FOR NINE MONTHS THROUGHOUT BAHÁ'Í WORLD EVERY MANNER RELIGIOUS FESTIVITY STOP INFORM LOCAL ASSEMBLIES AND GROUPS HOLD BEFITTING MANNER MEMORIAL GATHERINGS TO EXTOL A LIFE SO LADEN SACRED EXPERIENCES SO RICH IMPERISHABLE MEMORIES STOP ADVISE HOLDING ADDITIONAL COMMEMORATION SERVICE OF STRICTLY DEVOTIONAL CHARACTER AUDITORIUM MASHRIQU'L-ADHKÁR. (From a cablegram of Shoghi Effendi, dated July 15, 1932)
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63-64 GTT 68-69 [Ed. - also online at Bahá'í Administration, pp. 194-195]
64-65 GPB 347
Passages from Tablets revealed by Bahá'u'lláh
He is the Eternal! This is My testimony for her who hath heard My voice and drawn nigh unto Me. Verily, she is a leaf that hath sprung from this preexistent Root. She hath revealed herself in My name and tasted of the sweet savours of My holy, My wondrous pleasure. At one time We gave her to drink from My honeyed Mouth, at another caused her to partake of My mighty, My luminous Kawthar. Upon her rest the glory of My name and the fragrance of My shining robe.
Let these exalted words be thy love-song on the tree of Bahá, O thou most holy and resplendent Leaf: ‘God, besides Whom is none other God, the Lord of this world and the next!’ Verily, We have elevated thee to the rank of one of the most distinguished among thy sex, and granted thee, in My court, a station such as none other woman hath surpassed. Thus have We preferred thee and raised thee above the rest, as a sign of grace from Him Who is the Lord of the throne on high and earth below. We have created thine eyes to behold the
light of My countenance, thine ears to hearken unto the melody of My words, thy body to pay homage before My throne. Do thou render thanks unto God, thy Lord, the Lord of all the world.
How high is the testimony of the Sadratu’l-Muntahá for its leaf; how exalted the witness of the Tree of Life unto its fruit! Through My remembrance of her a fragrance laden with the perfume of musk hath been diffused; well is it with him that hath inhaled it and exclaimed: ‘All praise be to Thee, O God, my Lord the most glorious!’ How sweet thy presence before Me; how sweet to gaze upon thy face, to bestow upon thee My loving-kindness, to favour thee with My tender care, to make mention of thee in this, My Tablet—a Tablet which I have ordained as a token of My hidden and manifest grace unto thee.
Passages from Tablets revealed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá
1. O MY well-beloved, deeply spiritual sister! Day and night thou livest in my memory. Whenever I remember thee my heart swelleth with sadness and my regret groweth more intense. Grieve not, for I am thy true, thy unfailing comforter. Let neither despondency nor despair becloud the serenity of thy life or restrain thy freedom. These days shall pass away. We will, please God, in the Abhá Kingdom and beneath the
sheltering shadow of the Blessed Beauty, forget all these our earthly cares and will find each one of these base calumnies amply compensated by His expressions of praise and favour. From the beginning of time sorrow and anxiety, regret and tribulation, have always been the lot of every loyal servant of God. Ponder this in thine heart and consider how very true it is. Wherefore, set thine heart on the tender mercies of the Ancient Beauty and be thou filled with abiding joy and intense gladness....
2. O thou my affectionate sister! In the daytime and in the night-season my thoughts ever turn to thee. Not for one moment do I cease to remember thee. My sorrow and regret concern not myself; they centre around thee. Whenever I recall thine afflictions, tears that I cannot repress rain down from mine eyes....
3. Dear and deeply spiritual sister! At morn and eventide, with the utmost ardour and humility, I supplicate at the Divine Threshold, and offer this, my prayer:
'Grant, O Thou my God, the Compassionate, that that pure and blessed Leaf may be comforted by Thy sweet savours of holiness and sustained by thereviving breeze of Thy loving care and mercy. Reinforce her spirit with the signs of Thy Kingdom, and gladden
her soul with the testimonies of Thy everlasting dominion. Comfort, O my God, her sorrowful heart with the remembrance of Thy face, initiate her into Thy hidden mysteries, and inspire her with the revealed splendours of Thy heavenly light. Manifold are her sorrows, and infinitely grievous her distress. Bestow continually upon her the favour of Thy sustaining grace and, with every fleeting breath, grant her the blessing of Thy bounty. Her hopes and expectations are centred in Thee; open Thou to her face the portals of Thy tender mercies and lead her into the ways of Thy wondrous benevolence. Thou art the Generous, the All-Loving, the Sustainer, the All-Bountiful....'
4. Dear sister, beloved of my heart and soul! The news of thy safe arrival and pleasant stay in the land of Egypt has reached me and filled my heart with exceeding gladness. I am thankful to Bahá'u'lláh for the good health thou dost enjoy and for the happiness He hath imparted to the hearts of the loved ones in that land. Shouldst thou wish to know of the condition of this servant of the Threshold of the Abhá Beauty, praise be to Him for having enabled me to inhale the fragrance of His tender mercy and partake of the delights of His loving-kindness and blessings. I am being continually reinforced by the energizing rays of His grace, and feel upheld by the uninterrupted aid of the victorious hosts of His Kingdom. My physical health is also improving. God be praised that from every quarter I
receive the glad-tidings of the growing ascendancy of the Cause of God, and can witness evidences of the increasing influence of its spread....
My sister and beloved of my soul! I can never, never forget thee. However great the distance that separates us, we still feel as though we were seated under the same roof, in one and the same gathering, for are we not all under the shadow of the Tabernacle of God and beneath the canopy of His infinite grace and mercy?...
O thou my loving, my deeply spiritual sister! I trust that by the grace and loving-kindness of the one true God thou art, and wilt be, kept safe and secure beneath the sheltering shadow of the Blessed Beauty. Night and day thy countenance appeareth before mine eyes, and in my mind are engraved the traits of thy character....
(From a Tablet addressed to the Holy Mother): To my honoured and distinguished sister do thou convey the expression of my heartfelt, my intense longing. Day and night she liveth in my remembrance. I dare make no mention of the feelings which separation from her has aroused in mine heart; for whatever I should attempt to express in writing will assuredly
be effaced by the tears which such sentiments must bring to mine eyes....
(From a Tablet addressed to His daughter): O Diyá! It is incumbent upon thee, throughout the journey, to be a close, a constant and cheerful companion to my honoured and distinguished sister. Unceasingly, with the utmost vigour and devotion, exert thyself, by day and night, to gladden her blessed heart; for all her days she was denied a moment of tranquillity. She was astir and restless every hour of her life. Moth-like she circled in adoration round the undying flame of the Divine Candle, her spirit ablaze and her heart consumed by the fire of His love....
The Purest Branch
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70-72 GPB 188-189
72 GPB 347-348
72-74 GTT 72-74 [Ed. - also online at Messages to America, pp. 33-34]
74 GPB 108
74-75 GPB 348
75-78 GTT 74-76 [Ed. - also online at Messages to America, pp. 34-36]
"HOLY MOTHER MUNIRIH KHANUM ASCENDED ABHA KINGDOM. WITH SORROWFUL HEARTS BAHA'IS WORLD OVER RECALL DIVERS PHASES HER RICH EVENTFUL LIFE MARKED BY UNIQUE SERVICES WHICH BY VIRTUE HER EXALTED POSITION SHE RENDERED DURING DARKEST DAYS 'ABDU'L-BAHA'S LIFE..." (From cablegram of Shoghi Effendi, dated April 30, 1938)
The Arc and the World Administrative Centre
BLESSED REMAINS PUREST BRANCH AND MASTER'S MOTHER SAFELY TRANSFERRED HALLOWED PRECINCTS SHRINES MOUNT CARMEL. LONG INFLICTED HUMILIATION WIPED AWAY. MACHINATIONS COVENANT-BREAKERS FRUSTRATE PLAN DEFEATED. CHERISHED WISH GREATEST HOLE LEAF FULFILLED. SISTER BROTHER MOTHER WIFE 'ABDU'L-BAHA REUNITED ONE SPOT DESIGNED CONSTITUTE FOCAL CENTER BAHA'I ADMINISTRATIVE INSTITUTIONS AT FAITHS WORLD CENTER. (From cablegram of Shoghi Effendi, dated December 5, 1939)
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79-80 GTT 71-72 [Ed. - also online at Messages to America, pp. 32-33]
80-81 Naw-Rúz 111 - 1955 [Ed. - larger portion online here and, to a lesser extent, here]
In this great Tablet which unveils divine mysteries and heralds the establishment of two mighty, majestic and momentous undertakings—one
of which is spiritual and the other administrative, both at the World Centre of the Faith—Bahá'u'lláh refers to an `Ark', whose dwellers are the men of the Supreme House of Justice, which, in conformity with the exact provisions of the Will and Testament of the Centre of the Mighty Covenant is the body which should lay down laws not explicitly revealed in the Text. In this Dispensation, these laws are destined to flow from this holy mountain, even as in the Mosaic Dispensation the law of God was promulgated from Zion. The `sailing of the Ark' of His laws is a reference to the establishment of the Universal House of Justice...
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81 MBW 79
82-83 MBW 74-75
The Temple Site
83 GPB 194
83-84 MBW 63
84 MBW 78-79
The Pilgrim House, Haifa
Soon after the entombment of the remains of the Báb, one of the believers from ‘Ishqábád, Mírzá Ja‘far Rahmání, begged ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to allow him to build a Pilgrim House in the precincts of the Shrine for the convenience of visiting pilgrims. The request was granted, and this believer personally supervised the construction work, and paid for all expenses.
Even before the Pilgrim House was completed, 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave a sumptuous banquest for the friends and pilgrims from East and West. When the construction was finished and bhe beloved Master entered the new building, Mírzá Ja'far Rahmání devotedly threw himself at His feet, drowned in tears of joy. 'Abdu'l-Bahá lovingly lifted him, and asked him to express any wish he had. Mírzá Ja'far did not reply, for his sole desire was to see his Master happy. However, one of the attendants of the Master, Hájí Mírzá Haydar 'Alí, surnamed "Angel of Carmel" by the Master Himself, stepped forward and suggested that in acknowledgement
of Mírzá Ja'far's services, the Master might permit an inscription to be incorporated in the building in his honour, and if He accepted the suggestion, would He write the words. The Master graciously agreed, and with paper and pen hastily supplied, He wrote the words, in Persian, which now apear engraved on a stone above the entrance of the Pilgrim House. The translation is: "This is a spiritual Hostel for Pilgrims, and its founder is Mírzá Ja'far Rahmání 1327 A.H. (1909 A.D.).
During the ministry of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, many meetings were held in His Presence with the pilgrims and members of the local community. Later, when Shoghi Effendi became Guardian, he too met the assembled friends and talked to them in this Pilgrim House before leading them in prayer when visiting the Shrines of the Báb and of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
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The Office of the Universal House of Justice
86 GPB 307
The increasing number of Bahá'í pilgrims coming to the Holy Land from Western countries following the end of the first World War created a need for larger and more adequate accommodations than those available at that time. One of the Persian friends had offered a piece of land to 'Abdu'l-Bahá located in the vicinity of the Master's House, and an American believer, Mr William H. Randall, when in Haifa as a pilgrim asked if he might have the privilege of contributing a sum of money for the construction of a pilgrim house for the Western believers.
Both these offers were accepted and drawings were prepared under the Master's direction. Sketches for several possible designs were submitted, and one was chosen by Him as the most suited to the existing needs and climatic conditions. 'Abdu'l-Bahá Himself suggested certain changes in the arrangement of the proposed structure, and another sketch was prepared and presented to Him for further corrections and alterations. This process was continued until the final design was evolved and approved by the Master.
Subsequently construction of the building in accordance with this plan was begun, but the funds available proved insufficient and work on it was suspended until 1923, when the late Hand of the Cause Mrs. Amelia Collins came to the Holy Land as a pilgrim with her husband. The sight of the unfinished building led her to
offer the funds necessary for its completion. This gift to the Faith was accepted by the beloved Guardian and the structure, when finished a few years later, became the Western Pilgrim House. It was used for this purpose until 1963, when the Universal House of Justice established its offices there.
With the arrival of the "sagacious and humane governor" Ahmad Big Tawfíq to 'Akká and the devotion kindled in his heart through association with 'Abdu'l-Bahá and his perusal of the literature of the Faith, a new phase set it.
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88 GPB 192
God Passes By by Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, U.S.A., 1957.
Messages to the Bahá'í World, 1950-1957 by Shoghi Effendi. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, U.S.A., 1958.
Guidance for Today and Tomorrow. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, London 1953.
The Passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá by Shoghi Effendi and Lady Blomfield. Privately printed 1922.
Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era by J.E. Esslemont. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, U.S.A., 2nd rev. 4th imp. 1960.
2: 1 Adrianople.
3: 1 At Gallipoli.
5: 1 Bahá'u'lláh's exile in Adrianople. 2 of Bahá'u'lláh.
7: 1 The construction of nine terraces on Mount Carmel.
14: 1 This main edifice, or citadel, where Bahá'ú'lláh was confined had been erected during the period of Turkish rule in the Holy Land. Its construction was completed at the end of the eighteenth century on foundations dating back to the time of the Crusades.
18: 1 Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
19: 1 Built in 1785. The Turkish tower at the entrace of the inn was built in 1906 to commemorate the jubilee of Sultán 'Abdu'l-Hamíd.
20: 1 Na'mayn means: "two yeses." There is a tradition in Islám that on the last Day in response to the Divine Call, "Am I not your Lord?" two yeses will be heard.
23: 1 'Abdu'l-Bahá's.
33: 1 Mazra'ih. 2 An inscription appears above the main entrance door of the Mansion indicating that the structure was completed in 1870.
42: 1 1890.
45: 1 1899. 2 1909.
61: 1 These testimonies will be found in the sections relating to the resting places of each of these holy souls.
62: 1 'Abdu'l-Bahá's.
83: 1 Bahá'u'lláh.
88: 1 i.e., Ahmad Big Tawfíq. 2 Built about 1780 A.D. 3 It must be remembered that 'Akká at this time was devoid of any source of water within its own walls.