Tag Archives: death

Baha’i Faith: 29th of May – Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh.

On the 29th of May, Baha’is all over the world commemorate the ascension of  the Promised One of all religions and Messenger of God for today: Bahá’u’lláh. He was a prisoner and exile for 40 years of His blessed life. Throughout there were victories and crises but the Truth of His Revelation shone even brighter after every effort to eradicate its light.

Here is the story of what happened before His Passing, extracted from God Passes By, p.222-223:

Already nine months before His ascension Bahá’u’lláh, as attested by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, had voiced His desire to depart from this world. From that time onward it became increasingly evident, from the tone of His remarks to those who attained His presence, that the close of His earthly life was approaching, though He refrained from mentioning it openly to any one. On the night preceding the eleventh of Shavval 1309 A.H. (May 8, 1892) He contracted a slight fever which, though it mounted the following day, soon after subsided. He continued to grant interviews to certain of the friends and pilgrims, but it soon became evident that He was not well. His fever returned in a more acute form than before, His general condition grew steadily worse, complications ensued which at last culminated in His ascension, at the hour of dawn, on the 2nd of Dhi’l-Qádih 1309 A.H. (May 29, 1892), eight hours after sunset, in the 75th year of His age. His spirit, at long last released from the toils of a life crowded with tribulations, had winged its flight to His “other dominions,” dominions “whereon the eyes of the people of names have never fallen,” and to which the “Luminous Maid,” “clad in white,” had bidden Him hasten, as described by Himself in the Lawḥ-i-Ru’yá (Tablet of the Vision), revealed nineteen years previously, on the anniversary of the birth of His Forerunner.

Six days before He passed away He summoned to His presence, as He lay in bed leaning against one of His sons, the entire company of believers, including several pilgrims, who had assembled in the Mansion, for what proved to be their last audience with Him. “I am well pleased with you all,” He gently and affectionately addressed the weeping crowd that gathered about Him. “Ye have rendered many services, and been very assiduous in your labors. Ye have come here every morning and every evening. May God assist you to remain united. May He aid you to exalt the Cause of the Lord of being.” To the women, including members of His own family, gathered at His bedside, He addressed similar words of encouragement, definitely assuring them that in a document entrusted by Him to the Most Great Branch He had commended them all to His care.

The news of His ascension was instantly communicated to Sulṭán ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd in a telegram which began with the words “the Sun of Bahá has set” and in which the monarch was advised of the intention of interring the sacred remains within the precincts of the Mansion, an arrangement to which he readily assented. Bahá’u’lláh was accordingly laid to rest in the northernmost room of the house which served as a dwelling-place for His son-in-law, the most northerly of the three houses lying to the west of, and adjacent to, the Mansion. His interment took place shortly after sunset, on the very day of His ascension.

For a full week a vast number of mourners, rich and poor alike, tarried to grieve with the bereaved family, partaking day and night of the food that was lavishly dispensed by its members. Notables, among whom were numbered Shí’ahs, Sunnís, Christians, Jews and Druzes, as well as poets, ‘ulamás and government officials, all joined in lamenting the loss, and in magnifying the virtues and greatness of Bahá’u’lláh, many of them paying to Him their written tributes, in verse and in prose, in both Arabic and Turkish. From cities as far afield as Damascus, Aleppo, Beirut and Cairo similar tributes were received.

The next paragraph illustrates the day when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was appointed as His successor.

Thus simply and serenely did Bahá’u’lláh pass the evening of His life on earth until, after an attack of fever, He passed away on the 29th of May, 1892, at the age of seventy-five. Among the last Tablets He revealed was His Will and Testament, which He wrote with His own hand and duly signed and sealed. Nine days after His death the seals were broken by His eldest son, in the presence of members of the family and a few friends, and the contents of the short but remarkable document were made known. By this will ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was constituted His father’s representative and the expounder of His teachings, and the family and relatives of Bahá’u’lláh and all believers were instructed to turn to Him and obey Him. By this arrangement sectarianism and division were provided against and the unity of the Cause assured. (Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era p. 286)

Room where Bahá’u’lláh passed away

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Prayer for the dead. From the Bahá’í Writings.

Death is a natural part of life. When a loved one passes onto the next world, we are reminded of how this fleeting world means nothing and how all our material possessions and worries are vain and irrelevant. Constantly remembering them in our daily prayers, undertaking charity work on their behalf and giving to the Bahá’í fund (for Bahá’ís only) on their name are just some things we can do while still on this Earth to help the souls of those that have departed progress in all the worlds of God.

This is a beautiful prayer from the Bahá’í Writings written by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for the dead:

O my God! O Thou forgiver of sins, bestower of gifts, dispeller of afflictions! Verily, I beseech Thee to forgive the sins of such as have abandoned the physical garment and have ascended to the spiritual world.

O my Lord! Purify them from trespasses, dispel their sorrows, and change their darkness into light. Cause them to enter the garden of happiness, cleanse them with the most pure water, and grant them to behold Thy splendours on the loftiest mount.


Movement causes ageing

It struck me too! First of all, I need to acknowledge the source I am quoting…Mr. Steve Gonzales. I met him here in New York for the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

As we know, time is an illusion. What does that really mean? He mentioned that…the world rotates on its own axis and earth circulates the sun, and the sun the galaxy and the galaxy another galaxies in the Milky way…I know…it’s all about movement! Now, as the earth rotates, time (or what we call time) passes or happens or we think happens and that affects our bodies. Is that really it or do our bodies come with an expiration date?

Does time cause us to age due to movement or do our bodies start to decay due to our own movement and activity? But then again we must consider…do we live longer if we are active or do we die sooner? Or does death have nothing to do with time but chance? Or do we die due to our own actions and again, do we have a predestined “expiry date”? Interesting…

I think before getting any further we need to discuss what death really is…or what I think it is anyhow…Obviously my very limited mind cannot come with these concepts on its own so for the post on death I will be quoting directly or indirectly the Writings of the Baha’i Faith. Until then!