Ascension of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá
annually on November 28th (until 2014)
the 253rd day of the year in the Baháʼí calendar (since 2015)
The Ascension of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá is a Baháʼí holy day that commemorates the death—and remembers the life—of Abdu'l-Bahá. Devotional readings are a common part of the observance. These are held at 1:00 AM, the time that ‘Abdu'l-Bahá passed away on November 28, 1921, in his home in Haifa, Palestine (which now is part of Israel). Gatherings in assembly halls or in private homes are another regular part of the observance, where prayers and passages from Baha'i writings are chanted and recited.
On November 29, 1921, the day following Abdu'l-Bahá's death, a funeral procession was held. About 10,000 mourners followed the casket as it was carried from Abdu'l-Bahá's home at the foot of Mount Carmel to a garden up its northern slope, where it was interred in the Shrine of the Báb. Nine eulogies were given by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders. ‘Abdu'l-Bahá was eulogized as the embodiment of "glory and greatness," a "pillar of peace," and the one who led humanity to the "Way of Truth."
Born in 1844, Abdu'l-Bahá was the oldest son of Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baháʼí faith. Baha’u’llah called his son "the Mystery of God" and "a shelter for all mankind," but the son preferred the name "‘Abdu'l-Bahá," which means "the Servant of Baha." Abdu'l-Bahá followed his father as Baháʼí leader, from 1892 until his death. ‘Abdu'l-Bahá was also the interpreter of his father's teachings, cared for the poor, and was known as "the paragon, or perfect exemplar of Baha'i ethics, virtues, and wisdom."
How to Observe Ascension of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá
Commemorate the life and death of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá:
- Gather in an assembly hall or private home to chant and recite prayers and passages from Baha'i writings, and to take part in devotional readings.
- Read a book by or about ‘Abdu'l-Bahá.
- Read more about the Ascension of ‘Abdu'l-Bahá at Baháʼí Blog.
- Watch a video about ‘Abdu'l-Bahá.
- Visit the Shrine of the Báb, where Abdu'l-Bahá is buried.