Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh will begin at the Sunset of Wednesday, 27 May and ends at the Sunset of Thursday, 28 May 2020. (13 ‘Azamat, 177 B.E.).
All over the world Baháʼís will be arranging gatherings within their family members in the early hours of May 28th to pay their respects with prayers and selected Bahá’í Writings to commemorate the Anniversary of Baha’u’llah’s ascension.
In the early hours of 29 May 1892 i.e., eight hours after sunset, Baháʼu'lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Baháʼí Faith passed away just after sunset on that day at the age of 75, still marginally a prisoner but permitted to live outside the walls of the prison city of Acre (Akka), Israel, in the Mansion known as Bahji where He had been a prisoner for nine years. He was buried in a small stone house adjacent to the Mansion of Bahji.
In fact, on 9 May 1892, Baháʼu'lláh contracted a slight fever which grew steadily over the following days, abated, and then finally resulted in His death.
Before His passing, Baháʼu'lláh had given His eldest son ‘Abdu’l-Bahá a sealed envelope which was to be opened after His passing in the presence of others.
The Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh is located within the precincts of the Mansion of Bahji, north of Akka and is considered to be the most sacred and holiest spot on earth is the resting place of Baháʼu'lláh's mortal remains. Baháʼís, when reciting their prayers, turn towards the Shrine of Baháʼu'lláh.
Two years before He passed away Baháʼu'lláh allowed a visiting Cambridge Orientalist Edward Granville Browne to stay with Him at the Mansion of Bahji as His guest. This visit lasting five days (15-20 April 1890) has provided the only known western Pen Portrait of Baháʼu'lláh.
E.G. Browne also recorded the following written report of the words spoken by Baháʼu'lláh:
".... That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers, that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and differences of race be annulled....Yet so it shall be these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away and the " Most Great Peace" shall come."
In Persia, Baháʼu'lláh was imprisoned between the months of August and December 1852 in the Siyah-Chal (Black Pit), an underground dungeon, which was one of the most notorious dungeons in Tehran.
Baháʼu'lláh claimed that here in this dungeon in Tehran, He had a vision of a Maid of Heaven, through whom He received His mission as a Messenger of God and as the One whose coming 'The Báb' – had prophesied.
Baháʼu'lláh declared Himself publicly in the Riḍván Garden in Baghdad, to a small group of His companions His perceived mission and station as a Messenger of God (He whom God shall make manifest Messiac Figure in the religion of Bábísm).
Baháʼu'lláh was recognized by the vast majority of Bábís as " He whom God shall make manifest" and His followers began calling themselves Baháʼís.
In fact, Baháʼu'lláh was exiled and imprisoned for His teachings of love and unity towards all mankind.
In His own words Baháʼu'lláh stated:
“ That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one Universal Cause, one Common Faith".
During the last years of His life, Baha’u’llah was held under house arrest in ‘The Mansion of Bahji,’ which is outside the prison walls of Acre (Akka).
For almost 40 years Baháʼu'lláh suffered imprisonment and banishment, originally from His birthplace in Persia (Iran), to Baghdad, and then to the Ottoman cities of Constantinople, Adrianople, before His incarceration in Acre (Akka), 'the most great prison' where He was held in a cold and damp cell Israel in 1868.
Baháʼu'lláh also while in Adrianople, proclaimed the Bahá’í Faith further by addressing Tablets to the Kings and Rulers of the world asking them to accept His Revelation, renounce their material possessions, work together to settle disputes and endeavour toward the betterment of the world and it's peoples.
Later when Baháʼu'lláh was in Acre in Israel, He continued writing letters to the leaders of the world including:
1. Pope Pius IX, Head of the Catholic Church.
2. Napoleon III, Emperor of France.
3. Alexander II, Emperor of Russia.
4. Wilhelm I or William I), first German Emperor and King of Prussia.
5. Queen Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. She is alleged to have replied, "If this is of God, it will endure. If not, no harm can come of it".
6. Franz Josef I or Francis Joseph I, Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary.
7. Sultan 'Abdu'l-'Aziz 32nd Sultan of Ottoman Empire.
8. Nasiri'd-Din Shah Qajar
(Naser al-Din Shah Qajar)
of Persian Empire.
9. Rulers of America and Presidents of the Republic therein. (The Americas comprise the totality of the Continents of North and South America).
Baháʼu'lláh exhorted them to govern their subjects with justice and compassion, and He warned them that if they did not, power would pass from their hands.
Baháʼí Communities around the world typically commemorate Baháʼu'lláh's passing on 27th May, 2020 at 3:00 a.m. (13 ‘Azamat 177 B.E. i.e. 28th May 2020), because of the following guidelines of the International Governing Body of the the Bahá’í Faith:
"....The dates of the ... Holy Days will be fixed within the solar calendar in accordance with explicit statements of Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi; we have decided to set aside certain discrepancies in the historical record."
"The dates are: Naw-Rúz, 1 Bahá; the Festival of Riḍván, 13 Jalál to 5 Jamál; the Declaration of the Báb, 8 ‘Aẓamat; the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh, 13 ‘Aẓamat; the Martyrdom of the Báb, 17 Raḥmat; the Day of the Covenant, 4 Qawl; and the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 6 Qawl."
"The adoption of a new calendar in each dispensation is a symbol of the power of Divine Revelation to reshape human perception of material, social, and spiritual reality."
( Courtesy: The Universal House of Justice,10 July 2014, addressed to the Bahá’ís of the World)
In view of the below mentioned Baháʼí guidelines, no large community gatherings or large meetings are not allowed due to COVID-19.
" The cardinal principle which we (Baháʼís) must follow, is obedience to the Government prevailing in any land in which we reside."
Baháʼu'lláh revealed more than 100 volumes of divinely inspired mystical writings, ethical and social teachings, and laws and ordinances.
Baháʼís around the world commemorate the day of Baháʼu'lláh's passing as one of the nine Holy Days, where work should be suspended.
( Compiled by Jaya Raju Thota)