ABBAS EFFENDI (1844 -1921)
Abbas Effendi, also known as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, was born in 1844 in Persia. He enjoyed a privileged childhood until His Father, Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet - Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, was banished for His religious beliefs from Persia to Baghdad and finally to the harshest prison colony in the Ottoman Empire – 'Akko.
Abbas Effendi accompanied His Father throughout their exiles, took care of His followers and upheld the principles of justice with civil authorities. In time Abbas Effendi’s generosity of spirit, selfless service and adherence to His principles endeared Him to those who came to know Him and won over even the most cold - hearted of enemies.
Abbas Effendi was sent as a prisoner to 'Akko, but for more than 40 years, He dedicated Himself to serving the people of the city, especially the poor. He established good relations between the Bahá’ís and the diverse peoples, communities and official institutions throughout the region.
Abbas Effendi said, “do not be content with showing friendship in words alone, let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path,” and “love ye all religions and all races with a love that is true and sincere and show that love through deeds...”.
Funeral of Abbas Effendi
Abbas Effendi (‘Abdu’l-Bahá) lived a long life of selfless service and spent the last years of His life in Haifa. He passed away in 1921.
Ten thousand mourners - more than a quarter of the city’s population - attended Abbas Effendi’s funeral in Haifa and escorted His coffin up Mount Carmel from His home on Haparsim Street to the Shrine of the Báb (Prophet – Forerunner of the Bahá’í Faith).
The hundred or so Bahá’ís were joined by women and men from every religion, class and race, to pay homage and lay Abbas Effendi to rest. This gathering was historic - unprecedented in the region for the number and diversity of those who participated.
The remains of Abbas Effendi were placed within the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel as a temporary arrangement.
Shrine of Báb before the superstructure was built, early 1900s.
Shrine of the Báb in 2001. The dome and the colonnade were completed in 1953.
A Permanent Resting Place for Abbas Effendi in 'Akko
In April 2019, the international governing council of the Bahá’í community – the Universal House of Justice – announced that the time had come to build a permanent resting place for Abbas Effendi, (‘Abdu’l-Bahá) in South 'Akko.
This spot was chosen to reflect Abbas Effendi’s desire to be buried under the sands between Haifa and 'Akko.
Abbas Effendi described the area between Haifa and 'Akko as the pathway taken by the loved ones of God and Bahá’í pilgrims.
The Shrine of Abbas Effendi (‘Abdu’l Bahá) will be a place of pilgrimage for the worldwide Bahá’í community; and a place of tranquility, beauty and spirituality - as are all of the Bahá’í Holy Places and gardens in Haifa and 'Akko.
Just like Abbas Effendi, His Shrine will welcome every single member of the human race.