Baháʼís across the UK commemorate the 99th anniversary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing
Baháʼís across the UK and the world will join together tonight to commemorate the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Son of the Prophet Founder of the Baháʼí Faith.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who holds a special role within the Baháʼí Faith, passed away on 28th November 1921 in Haifa.
When He passed away in 1921, the loss was felt across the world. His funeral procession was attended by over 10,000 individuals from different backgrounds. Various dignitaries, including Winston Churchill, sent their condolences, and many attended the funeral. At the ceremony itself, nine moving eulogies were given by dignitaries representing the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities.
On this day, Baháʼís globally come together to pray and reflect upon the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Usually, this is done in person, but, due to the pandemic, many Baháʼís will log on at 1am, approximately the time of His passing, to recite prayers together.
In their reflections, the community will meditate on the fact that following Bahá’u’lláh’s passing, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s extraordinary qualities of character, His knowledge and His service to humanity offered a vivid demonstration of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings in action, bringing prestige to the rapidly expanding community throughout the world. Renowned for His kindness, humour and patience, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá guided the Baháʼí community from 1892 until His passing in 1921.
Various dignitaries, including Winston Churchill, sent their condolences, and many attended the funeral.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá devoted His ministry to furthering His Father’s Faith and to promoting the ideals of peace and unity. He encouraged the establishment of local Bahá’í institutions, and guided nascent educational, social and economic initiatives. After His release from a lifetime of imprisonment, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá set out on a series of journeys which took Him to Egypt, Europe and North America.
During His time in Britain, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited London, Bristol and Edinburgh, where He gave talks and lectures on a number of themes. He is also known for expressing support for the movement of gender equality that was gaining momentum in Britain during this period. Throughout His journeys, He presented with brilliant simplicity, to high and low alike, Bahá’u’lláh’s prescription for the spiritual and social renewal of society.
For Baháʼís, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is viewed as the Perfect Exemplar, the ideal manifestation of the teachings of His Father. Baháʼís often turn to Him, and stories about Him, when seeking hope, inspiration and comfort.
This video includes one of the stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that offers an example of the selflessness, wisdom and generosity that Baháʼís across the world are striving to embody as they aim to put the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh into action in their neighbourhoods, towns and cities across the world.