The Mansion of Bahjí on the night of the commemoration of the Ascension of Baha’u’llah, 2010 (photo: Adib Roy).
The Baha’i Faith only has nine days throughout the calendar year which are considered holy, but May 29, Ascension of Baha’u’llah, is one of the most important.
It commemorates the anniversary of the day that the founder of the Baha’i Faith, called Baha’u’llah by his followers, passed away from this life in 1892 and will be celebrated by Baha’is in almost two hundred countries throughout the world.
Although he brought a message of peace and acceptance to the world, Baha’u’llah was under house arrest when he became ill. Baha’u’llah knew that he was going to be departing from this world, and so six days before he died, he called his followers to him so that he could give them one final message. He instructed them to be united, even after his passing, and to continue working and worshipping as he had taught them to do. After he died, the mourning of his followers continued for over a week and people from other faiths, such as Christians, Jews, and Muslims joined them, recognizing the loss of a great man.
During this holiday, celebrants abstain from attending work and school, and celebrate the amazing life that formed their faith. The exact moment of Baha’u’llah’s death at The Mansion of Bahjí is remembered at 3am, and his sufferings are reflected on during the whole day. This day is seen as a time to read through Baha’u’llah’s writings, to better understand his vision for the world. Remembering the day that Baha’u’llah died is incredibly important for those of Baha’i faith, especially those that are currently living under persecution for their believes, just as Baha’u’llah did. By gaining a better understanding of how Baha’u’llah was able to love those that treated him badly, and remained at peace throughout all of his sufferings, Baha’is attempt themselves to reach this peaceful state.