Edited By Soli Shahvar
The city of Haifa and its environs have had a close historical connection with the Bahá’í religion ever since its founder, Bahá’u’lláh (Mírzá Ḥusayn-‘Alíy-i-Núrí), arrived in the harbour of Haifa in the summer of 1868 as a religious prisoner of the Ottoman Empire. Banished from his native Iran in 1853, he was sent, along with his family and a group of followers, first to Baghdad, then in 1863 to Istanbul, and two years later to Edirne. Finally, on 31 August 1868, the exiles arrived in Haifa en route to the prison citadel of Acre (‘Akká in Arabic) at the northernmost end of Haifa Bay. He lived in that city, or its vicinity, until his death in 1892, and it was during this period that he wrote some of his most important works, foremost being the Kitáb-i-Aqdas [The Most Holy Book], his book of laws.
After the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, political and religious prisoners were freed, and Bahá’u’lláh’s son and successor, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, moved his residence to Haifa. There, in 1909, he arranged for the interment of the remains of Siyyid ‘Alí-Muḥammad, the Báb – the founder of the Bábí religion and forerunner of Bahá’u’lláh – in a mausoleum built at the spot on Mount Carmel that Bahá’u’lláh had pointed out during one of the three visits he made to Haifa. The superstructure of the building would be completed in...
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