February 25, 2010

Successive Stages in the Transfer of the Remains of the Bab from Persia to the Holy Land and the Erection of His Mausoleum on Mount Carmel

Execution of the Bab in Tabriz and the exposure of His mangled body on the edge of the moat outside the city, July 9, 1850.

• Wrapping of His remains in a cloak, their secret removal to the silk factory owned by one of the believers of Milan and their deposition in a small wooden casket, July 11, 1850.

• Transportation, in accordance with Baha'u’llah's instructions, of the casket to Tihran and its concealment in the shrine of Imam-Zadih Hasan.

• Removal of the remains to the home of Haji Sulayman Khan and their subsequent transfer to the shrine of Imam-Zadih Ma’sum.

• Instructions issued by Baha'u'llah, while in Adrianople, to Mulla-'Ali Akbari-Sahmirzadi and Jaml-i-Burujirdi, to transfer the casket to a safer hiding place, and its temporary concealment within a wall of the Masjid-i-Masha’u’llah outside the gates of the capital, 1867-1868.

• Detection of the hiding place of the casket and its smuggling into Tihran and its deposition in the house of Mirza Hasan-i-Vazir, a believer and- son-in-law of Haji Mirza Siyyid 'Aliy-i-Tafrishi, the Majdu'l-Ashraf.

• Discovery of the hiding place by a number of believers and the consequent removal of the casket by Haji Shah Muhammad-i-Manshadi, surnamed Aminu'l-Bayan, in accordance with Baha'u'llah's instructions, to the shrine of Imam-Zadih Zayd, and its burial beneath the floor of the inner sanctuary, whence it was again removed to a series of private homes in Tihran.

• Baha'u'llah's visit to Mount Carmel, the revelation of the Tablet of Carmel, and the appointment by Him, in the presence of 'Abdu'l-Baha, of the site to serve as the permanent burial-place for the remains of the Bab.

• Dispatch of Mirza Asadu'llah by 'Abdu'l-Baha with specific instructions to transport the body of the Bab to the Holy Land, and the transfer of the remains to Isfahan, and thence, via Kirmanshah, Baghdad and Damascus, to the Holy Land, arriving at their destination on January 31, 1899, fifty lunar years after the Bab’s execution in Tabriz.

• Purchase by 'Abdu'l-Baha of the site designated by Baha'u'llah, and theconstruction of a marble sarcophagus by the Burmese believers in accordance with 'Abdu'l-Baha's suggestion, designed to receive the body of the Bab.

• Laying of the foundation-stone of the Shrine of the Bab by 'Abdu'l-Baha with the participation of Ibrahim Khayru'llah, while on his pilgrimage to Akka, following the establishment of the Faith in the United States of America, 1899.

• Construction by 'Abdu'l-Baha of six chambers constituting the initial stage in the erection of the Mausoleum of the Bab.

• Downfall of Sultan 'Abdu'l-Hamid II, whose Commission of Inquiry had visited the Shrine and was contemplating its destruction; the release of 'Abdu'l-Baha from His incarceration and the placing by Him of the wooden casket in the marble sarcophagus on the day coinciding with the inauguration of the first American Baha'i Convention, March 2 I, 1909.

• Purchase of extensive properties on the slope of Mt. Carmel in the immediate vicinity of the Shrine of the Bab and their permanent dedication to His memory.

• Construction of three additional chambers marking the completion of the preliminary structure contemplated by 'Abdu'l-Baha.

• Opening of terraces stretching from the Shrine to the foot of Mount Carmel; the exemption by the British High Commissioner of the entire area dedicated to the Mausoleum of the Bab from taxation; the establishment of the Palestine Branches of the American and Indian National Spiritual Assemblies; and the subsequent transfer of a part of the dedicated properties to the name of these newly formed branches.

• Entombment of the remains of the Purest Branch and of the mother, sister and wife of 'Abdu'l-Baha in the vicinity of the Shrine, as a prelude to the establishment of the World Administrative Centre of the Faith in that same neighborhood.

• Unveiling of the model designed by W. S. Maxwell for the superstructure of the Shrine, on the occasion of the centenary celebrations of the Declaration of the Bab, in Haifa on May 23, 1944.

• Placing of successive contracts for the masonry and ornamentation of the Arcade and Parapet of the Shrine, amounting to approximately eight hundred tons, and their transportation from Italy to Haifa.

• Completion of the Arcade and Parapet of the Shrine on the occasion of the centenary of the Bab's martyrdom, July 9, 1950.

• Completion of the Octagon of the Shrine, March, 1952.

• Placing of a fragment of plaster from the ceiling of the Bab's prison cell in the Castle of Mah-Ku beneath the gilded tiles of the dome of the Shrine by Shoghi Effendi on the ninth day of Ridvan, April 29, 1953.

• Completion of the Shrine of the Bab, the greatest enterprise undertaken at World Centre of the Faith, in October, 1953, the last month of the Holy Year commemorating the Centenary of the inauguration of Baha'u'llah's prophetic Mission.

• During the period of the Ten Year Plan [1953-1963] it is estimated the number of visitors to the Shrine and surrounding gardens exceeded 1,500,000.
(The Baha’i Faith 1844-1963, Statistical and Comparative, Compiled by the Hands of the Cause Residing in the Holy Land)