Baha'is commemorate anniversary of the ascension of Baha'u'llah

27 May 2007

HAIFA, Israel — On May 29, Baha'is around the world will observe the 115th anniversary of the ascension of Baha'u'llah, the founder of their faith.

Baha'is recognize Baha'u'llah as the divine educator who, as the one promised in the scriptures of all the world's religions, has come to inaugurate a new age of peace and justice for the entire human race.

Edward Granville Browne, a prominent scholar from Cambridge University, was granted an audience with Baha'u'llah near Acre, Palestine, in 1890, two years before Baha'u'llah's passing, and recounted the meeting this way:

"The face of him on whom I gazed I can never forget, though I cannot describe it. Those piercing eyes seemed to read one's very soul; power and authority sat on that ample brow.... No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed myself before one who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!"

Baha'u'llah passed away in the early morning of May 29, 1892, at the age of 74.

Baha'i historian H.M. Balyuzi later wrote: "Many there were who came to mourn Him. They did not bear allegiance to Him, they could not see in Him the Redeemer of Mankind, yet they knew that a great Being had gone from their midst.

"They were from diverse backgrounds and sects and faiths and nations - officials and leading figures and priests, learned men and poets and men of letters, rich and poor, Druses, Sunni and Shi'ih Muslims, Christians of diverse denominations, and Jews. From other cities renowned in the history of the world, such as Damascus and Aleppo and Cairo, they sent their eulogies and poems and panegyrics and tributes.

"And Baha'u'llah, at the time of His ascension, was still a prisoner of the Turkish government."

Baha'u'llah was laid to rest in the northernmost room of a house adjacent to where He had been living outside of Acre. The shrine is the holiest place in the world for Baha'is - the point to which they turn in prayer and visit on pilgrimage.