The Ascension of Baha’u’llah 2021 Commemorations
The Baha’i House of Worship is still closed because of the global pandemic and no holy day program is being held at the Temple this year. In 2020 a program of prayers and music was recorded in the Temple Auditorium by staff of the US Baha’i National Offices and their families, who followed all safety guidelines.
Who was Baha’u’llah?
Baha’u’llah, the latest of God’s Messengers, brought spiritual and social teachings for our modern age. Baha’u’llah taught that there is only one God, that all of the world’s religions are from God, and that now is the time for humanity to recognize its oneness and unite.
In the early morning hours of May 29, 1892, Baha’u’llah passed away at the Mansion of Bahji near Acre, Israel. Baha’u’llah was buried in a simple room next to this house. This, now the Shrine of Baha’u’llah, is the holiest place on earth for Baha’is, where they turn to in prayer each day. Pilgrims come from all corners of the globe to pay their respects to Baha’u’llah and to dedicate their lives to the principles of unity that He set before humanity. Shortly after the passing of Baha’u’llah, His son, ‘Abdu’l-Baha, sent this message:
“The Sun of Truth, that Most Great Light, hath set upon the horizon of the world to rise with deathless splendour over the Realm of the Limitless. In His Most Holy Book He calleth the firm and steadfast of His friends: ‘Be not dismayed, O peoples of the world, when the day-star of My beauty is set, and the heaven of My tabernacle is concealed from your eyes. Arise to further My Cause, and to exalt My Word amongst men.’”
Nine days later after His passing, Baha’u’llah’s will was unsealed. It designated ‘Abdu’l-Baha as His successor and head of the Baha’i Faith — the first time in history that the founder of a world religion had made explicitly clear whom people should follow after His death. This declaration of a successor is the pivotal provision of what is known to Baha’is as the “Covenant of Baha’u’llah.” It has enabled the Baha’i Faith to remain united around one central authority for more than a century.