[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
15 Mulk 135 [B.E.]
2 Esfand 1357 [21 February 1979]
A Page from History
His Holiness the Bab was from Iran. He was of Shirazi origin and was born in that city. His Holiness Baha’u’llah and His Holiness Abdu’l-Baha were from Iran. They were of Nur, Mazandarani origin and were born in Tehran.
When He announced the new Revelation, His Holiness the Bab went from Shiraz to Isfahan. He was banished from Isfahan by the government of the time. From near Tehran, He was exiled to Azerbaijan. Following a few years in the mountains of Salmas and Maku, He was martyred by firing squad in Tabriz at the age of thirty-one.
His Holiness Baha’u’llah was arrested and imprisoned in Tehran, then taken from prison, and exiled by the government of Iran. He was sent to Baghdad and handed over to the Ottoman government. Then, by the order of the Ottoman government, He was banished from Baghdad to Istanbul [Constantinople], from Istanbul to Edirne [Adrianople], and from Edirne to Akka where He ascended to the Eternal Realm.
His Holiness Abdu’l-Baha accompanied His Father all through the exiles, imprisonments, afflictions and sufferings. He lived in exile in the same conditions for several years after His Father’s ascension, till He was eventually buried in the dark soil of that country.
The Baha’is kept the Bab’s remains in a box in hiding. They never dared to bury His body in Iran. For fifty years, they kept it hidden, from house to house, from city to city, and from place to place, until, finally, destiny brought Him to be buried in Haifa, where Abdu’l-Baha lived at the time.
That is how the mortal bodies of three leaders of the Baha’is, His Holiness the Bab, His Holiness Baha’u’llah and His Holiness Abdu’l-Baha, were laid to rest in Palestine. Their exiles were the will of the king of Iran and the order of the Ottoman caliph, without the will of Baha’is, or any arrangements made by them [Baha’is].
At the time when His Holiness Baha’u’llah was exiled to the two cities, Akka and Haifa were part of Syria, territories of the Ottoman Islamic Caliphate. Decades after that time, they became part of Palestine as a result of the division of the Ottoman Empire. Today, these two cities are in a land where the government of Israel has settled.
This short summary is written to explain the reason for the devotion of Baha’is to the aforementioned localities. The land where these two cities are presently located is sacred to the Christians, because it is the place where His Holiness Christ ascended. Of course, this sacredness cannot be connected to today’s condition.
The land where these two cities are located is revered and honoured by Muslims, because it is where the Al-Aqsa Mosque [Dome of the Rock], the primary Point of Adoration for Muslims, and the Path of His Holiness Mohammad’s nocturnal journey to heaven, is located. Of course, this reverence cannot be connected to the present condition of that land.
The land that includes these two cities is important to the Baha’is, both for the fact that they honour the Holy Places of Christians and Muslims, and for the reason that they are the burial places of His Holiness the Bab, His Holiness Baha’u’llah and His Holiness Abdu’l-Baha. And of course, their attention cannot be connected to the present condition of that land.
This summary should be sufficient to eliminate all misconceptions by anyone with fair judgment.
For the Baha’i Community only.