On 28th November, at 1 am, Baha’is around the world commemorate the moment that ‘Abdu’l-
“Till the very last day of His earthly life ‘Abdu’l-
“At 1:15 A.M. He arose, and, walking to a table in His room, drank some water, and returned to bed. Later on, He asked one of His two daughters who had remained awake to care for Him, to lift up the net curtains, complaining that He had difficulty in breathing. Some rose-
(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 311)
As the news spread, cablegrams were sent from around the world expressing sympathy, devotion, praise and anguish to ‘Abdu’l-
The funeral took place on the morning of 29th November and had no less then ten thousand participants from every class, religion and race in the country. Below is Shoghi Effendi’s description of the procession and burial:
“The coffin containing the remains of ‘Abdu’l-
“Close to the eastern entrance of the Shrine, the sacred casket was placed upon a plain table, and, in the presence of that vast concourse, nine speakers, who represented the Muslim, the Jewish and Christian Faiths, and who included the Mufti of Haifa, delivered their several funeral orations. These concluded, the High Commissioner drew close to the casket, and, with bowed head fronting the Shrine, paid his last homage of farewell to ‘Abdu’l-
(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 313)
A fuller description of the funeral, including extracts from some of the speeches given there, can be found here.
“These are the days of my farewell to you, for I am sailing on the fifth of the month. Wherever I went in this country, I returned always to New York City. This is my fourth or fifth visit here, and now I am going away to the Orient. It will be difficult for me to visit this country again except it be the will of God. I must, therefore, give you my instructions and exhortations today, and these are none other than the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.
“You must manifest complete love and affection toward all mankind. Do not exalt yourselves above others, but consider all as your equals, recognizing them as the servants of one God. Know that God is compassionate toward all; therefore, love all from the depths of your hearts, prefer all religionists before yourselves, be filled with love for every race, and be kind toward the people of all nationalities. Never speak disparagingly of others, but praise without distinction. Pollute not your tongues by speaking evil of another. Recognize your enemies as friends, and consider those who wish you evil as the wishers of good. You must not see evil as evil and then compromise with your opinion, for to treat in a smooth, kindly way one whom you consider evil or an enemy is hypocrisy, and this is not worthy or allowable. You must consider your enemies as your friends, look upon your evil-
“In brief, let each one of you be as a lamp shining forth with the light of the virtues of the world of humanity. Be trustworthy, sincere, affectionate and replete with chastity. Be illumined, be spiritual, be divine, be glorious, be quickened of God, be a Bahá’í.”
Cable sent by the Greatest Holy Leaf to the Bahá’ís of the world on 28 November 1921, reading: “HIS HOLINESS ABDUL BAHA ASCENDED TO ABHA KINGDOM INFORM FRIENDS”