Bahá'í pilgrimage

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A Bahá'í pilgrimage currently consists of visiting the holy places in Haifa, Akká, and Bahjí at the Bahá'í World Centre in Northwest Israel. Bahá'ís do not have access to other places designated as sites for pilgrimage.[1][2]

Bahá'u'lláh decreed pilgrimage in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas to two places: the House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad, and the House of the Báb in Shiraz. In two separate tablets, known as Suriy-i-Hajj, he prescribed specific rites for each of these pilgrimages.[1] It is obligatory to make the pilgrimage, "if one can afford it and is able to do so, and if no obstacle stands in one's way". Bahá'ís are free to choose between the two houses, as either has been deemed sufficient. Later, `Abdu'l-Bahá designated the Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh at Bahjí (the Qiblih) as a site of pilgrimage. No rites have been prescribed for this.[1]

The designated sites for pilgrimage are not accessible to the majority of Bahá'ís, as they are in Iraq and Iran respectively, and thus when Bahá'ís currently refer to pilgrimage, it refers to a nine-day pilgrimage that occurs at the Bahá'í World Centre in Haifa and Akká in Israel.[1] This nine-day pilgrimage does not replace pilgrimage to the designated sites for pilgrimage, and it is intended that pilgrimage to the House of the Báb and the House of Bahá'u'lláh will occur in the future.

House of Bahá'u'lláh, Baghdad[edit]

A view of Baghdad in 1855

The House of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad, also known as the "Most Great House" (Bayt-i-A'zam) and the "House of God," is where Bahá'u'lláh lived from 1853 to 1863 (except for two years when he left to the mountains of Kurdistan, northeast of Baghdad, near the city of Sulaymaniyah). It was located in the Kadhimiya district of Baghdad, near the western bank of the Tigris river.[3] It is designated in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas as a place of pilgrimage and is considered a holy place by Bahá'ís.[4]

In 1922[5] the house was confiscated by Shí'ih authorities, who were hostile to the Bahá'í Faith. The Council of the League of Nations upheld the Bahá'í's claim to the house, but it has not yet been returned to the Bahá'í community.[4][6]

Destruction[edit]

The house was destroyed in June 2013, under circumstances that are currently unclear.[7] The Universal House of Justice sent a letter to all the National Spiritual Assemblies on 27 June informing them of the house's destruction.

House of the Báb, Shiraz[edit]

Location of the House of the Báb, Shiraz, Iran as it appeared in 2008. The electricity pole indicates the site of the Declaration of the Báb
House of the Báb, Shiraz, Iran

In this house in Shiraz, Iran, the Báb declared his mission to Mullá Husayn on 23 May 1844.[8]

In 1942-3 it was damaged by fire in an attack by enemies of the Bahá'í Faith, and in 1955 it was destroyed, but later again restored. In 1979 it was destroyed once more during the Iranian Revolution. In 1981 the site was made into a road and public square.[8]

Current nine-day pilgrimage[edit]

Bahá'í pilgrimage locations

The places that Bahá'ís visit on the current nine-day pilgrimage at the Bahá'í World Centre include the following.[9] Please see Bahá'í World Centre buildings for more information about each building.

Bahjí:

Haifa:

Akká:

The nine-day pilgrimage is open only to Bahá'ís and their spouses who have applied to go on pilgrimage.[9][29]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Smith, Peter (2000). "Pilgrimage". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. p. 269. ISBN 1-85168-184-1. 
  2. ^ Linda Kay, Davidson; Gitlitz, David (2002). Pilgrimage, from the Ganges to Graceland: an Encyclopedia ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara. ISBN 1-57607-004-2. pp. 48-50.
  3. ^ The House of Baha'u'llah
  4. ^ a b Smith, Peter (2000). "Baghdad: the House of Bahá'u'lláh". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 66–67. ISBN 1-85168-184-1. 
  5. ^ Bahá'í International Community. House of Baha'u'llah seized.
  6. ^ Toynbee, Arnold J. (1935). Survey of International Affairs 1934. London: Oxford University Press. pp. 120–122. 
  7. ^ "Sacred site in Baghdad destroyed". Bahá'í World News Service. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Smith, Peter (2000). "Shiraz: the House of the Báb". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. p. 314. ISBN 1-85168-184-1. 
  9. ^ a b Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "What is pilgrimage?". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  10. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  11. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Mansion of Bahjí". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  12. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Shrine of the Báb". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  13. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Mount Carmel". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  14. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Universal House of Justice". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  15. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "International Teaching Centre". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  16. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Centre of the Study of the Texts". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  17. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "International Archives". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  18. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Monument Gardens". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  19. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Site of the Future Mashriqu'l-Adkhar". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  20. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "House of the Master". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  21. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Resting place of Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khanum". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  22. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Haifa Pilgrim House". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  23. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "10 Haparsim Street". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  24. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "4 Haparsim Street". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  25. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Ridván garden". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  26. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "House of `Abbúd". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  27. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "House of `Abdu'lláh Páshá". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  28. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Mansion of Mazrai'h". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  29. ^ Bahá'í World Centre (2007). "Bahá'í pilgrimage Frequently Asked Questions and Answers". Bahá'í World Centre. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]