Shrine of Baháʼu'lláh

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Shrine of Baháʼu'lláh[1]
Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh.jpg
Coordinates32°56′36″N 35°05′32″E / 32.94333°N 35.09222°E / 32.94333; 35.09222

The Shrine of Baháʼu'lláh, located in Bahjí near Acre, Israel, is the holiest place for Baháʼís and represents their Qiblih, or direction of prayer. It contains the remains of Baháʼu'lláh and is near the spot where he died in the Mansion of Bahjí.


The Shrine of Baháʼu'lláh is composed of a central area that contains a small, tree-filled garden surrounded by paths covered with Persian rugs.[1][2] A glass roof was constructed by Qulám-ʻAlíy-i-Najjár after the death of Baháʼu'lláh.[3] At the northwest corner of the central area there is a small room containing Baháʼu'lláh's remains.[4][5] The central area has doors to a number of other rooms that have, in recent years, been opened to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims and visitors.[citation needed]


The shrine, after ʻAbdu'l-Bahá's death, was occupied by Mírzá Muhammad ʻAlí and his supporters, who forcibly took the keys to the shrine in January 1922.[6] The governor of Acre ordered the keys to be returned to the authorities and a guard was posted at the shrine.[6] In early 1923 the keys were returned to Shoghi Effendi.[6] In the 1950s, Shoghi Effendi had made plans for a future superstructure, which would surround the whole area and would include a platform with 95 marble columns, each 6 meters high.[7] Shoghi Effendi has called the shrine the Daryá-yi-Núr (Ocean of Light), which has taken the Kúh-i-Núr (Mountain of Light, the Shrine of the Báb) under its shadow.[8]

The shrine and its surrounding gardens, as well as the Mansion of Bahjí, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in July 2008.[9][10]

During obligatory prayers Baháʼís face the Qiblih, which is the Shrine of Baháʼu'lláh, comparable in practice to Muslims facing the Kaaba during daily prayer, or Christians/Jews facing Jerusalem. The Báb changed the direction of prayer to He whom God shall make manifest, a role claimed by Baháʼu'lláh. Baháʼís during his lifetime prayed facing the person of Bahá'u'lláh, until the spot became fixed when he was buried.[11] A Tablet explaining this existed but had been stolen by Covenant-breakers.[12]

Baháʼu'lláh's son Ḍíyáʼu'lláh, who died in 1898, was initially buried next to his father. However, having been declared a Covenant-breaker, Ḍíyáʼu'lláh's remains were disinterred in a process of "purification" through "cleansing" the inner sanctuary of the shrine, occasionally referred to as the "Qiblih" of the Baháʼí World at the request of relatives who were opposed to the Covenant-breaker faction of family.[13]

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See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Spiritual Assembly of the United States (January 1966). "Shrine of Baháʼu'lláh". Baháʼí News (418): 4. Retrieved 2006-08-12.
  2. ^ Viswanathan, G. M. (1994-07-24). "Baháʼí Aesthetics of the Sacred". Retrieved 2006-08-12.
  3. ^ ʻAbdu'l-Bahá (1915). Memorials of the Faithful. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Baháʼí Publishing Trust (published 1997). p. 144. ISBN 0-87743-242-2.
  4. ^ Manvell, Christ (November 1996). "Visits to the Shrine of Baháʼu'lláh and Meeting with the members of the Universal House of Justice". Retrieved 2006-08-12.
  5. ^ For pictures of the central room and the inner shrine, see The Baháʼí World, Vol III, p. 5 and 11.
  6. ^ a b c Wilson, Helen T. (April 2000). "The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah: Its Continuing Place In History". Retrieved 2006-08-12.
  7. ^ Giachery, Ugo (1973). Shoghi Effendi — Recollections. Oxford, United Kingdom: George Ronald. pp. 132–134, 137. ISBN 0-85398-050-0.
  8. ^ Khadem, Dhikru'llah (March 1976). "Baháʼu'lláh and His Most Holy Shrine". Baháʼí News (540): 15.
  9. ^ UNESCO World Heritage Centre (2008-07-08). "Three new sites inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List". Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  10. ^ World Heritage Committee (2007-07-02). "Convention concerning the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage" (PDF). p. 34. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  11. ^ Smith, p. 284.
  12. ^ Walbridge, John 1950-. "Sacred Acts, Sacred Space, Sacred Time." Bahāʾi Studies 1996
  13. ^ Marks, Geoffry W., ed. (1996). Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-86: The Third Epoch of the Formative Age. Baha'i Publishing Trust. p. 66. ISBN 978-0877432395.


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