Shrine of Baha'u'llah
Updated: Jan 9, 2019
At the hour of dawn on 29 May 1892, in the 75th year of His life, Bahá’u’lláh passed away, His spirit at long last released from a life filled with tribulations.
The Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, the holiest place on earth for Baha'is and the point toward which they turn in prayer each day, is located in Bahjí, just north of Akka. It is situated along the road to Nahariyya near the Bustan Hagalil bus stop. The Ben-Ami Army Camp adjoins the Baha'i property. The room in which Bahá'u'lláh was laid to rest shortly after sunset on the day of His Ascension, 29 May 1892, had been the northernmost room in the home of His son-in-law, Siyyid `Ali Afnan.
Shoghi Effendi-the great-grandson of Bahá’u’lláh-, as Head of the Faith, was awarded permanent custody of the Shrine in the early 1920s. He improved the entrance of the Shrine and added the portico in 1940, and erected the carved oak door in 1957. With the Shrine and Mansion at its centre, Shoghi Effendi’s vision took the form of an expansive circle, each quadrant of which became a garden of different composition and design. He built the five gates and nine pathways of this garden, surfacing the paths with small white pebbles from a beach on the Sea of Galilee, and crushed roof tiles. After the passing of Shoghi Effendi, his great plan for the beautification of the environs of the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh continued.
Today, the Shrine consists of a light-filled, central room, striking in its simplicity and beauty. A garden stands in the middle of the room, which is surrounded by smaller rooms. In one corner of the central room is the chamber where Bahá’u’lláh’s remains are laid to rest.
Over the years, this Holy Place has been beautified with formal gardens extending in a large circle around the shrine. To set foot in the heart of the site is to enter a place of peace and serenity, a wall-less sanctuary that is protected without being enclosed. Here the formal, precise gardening flows around the historic buildings and natural elements that include a centuries-old sycamore fig tree and the remains of an ancient olive grove.
"The aim of this Wronged One in sustaining woes and tribulations, in revealing the Holy Verses and in demonstrating proofs hath been naught but to quench the flame of hate and enmity, that the horizon of the hearts of men may be illumined with the light of concord and attain real peace and tranquility. From the dawning-place of the divine Tablet the day-star of this utterance shineth resplendent, and it behoveth everyone to fix his gaze upon it: We exhort you, O peoples of the world, to observe that which will elevate your station. Hold fast to the fear of God and firmly adhere to what is right. Verily I say, the tongue is for mentioning what is good, defile it not with unseemly talk. God hath forgiven what is past. Henceforward everyone should utter that which is meet and seemly, and should refrain from slander, abuse and whatever causeth sadness in men." -Baha'u'llah
"Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday. Man's merit lieth in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches. Take heed that your words be purged from idle fancies and worldly desires and your deeds be cleansed from craftiness and suspicion. Dissipate not the wealth of your precious lives in the pursuit of evil and corrupt affection, nor let your endeavours be spent in promoting your personal interest" -Baha'u'llah
Directions to Bahji
The entrance to the Bahá’í Gardens in ‘Akka is located at the end of the old access road to Kibbutz Shomrat. Visitors arriving by private automobile may take National Road 4 to the North ‘Akka junction. Heading south toward the center of ‘Akka, take the first left turn after 400 meters and follow the road to the end. Free parking is available near the entrance.
The garden entrance is a short walk from the Bustan HaGalil bus stops served by bus 271, which connects Haifa, ‘Akka and Nahariya.