Ayyam-i-Ha is a Baha’i festival that is joyously celebrated in countries and territories all over the world. It is a time of hospitality, generosity, and caring for the needy. This year Ayyam-i-Ha runs from February 26-29.
Abdu’l-Baha was the eldest son of Baha’u’llah who referred to Him as “the Mystery of God” and “a shelter for all mankind”, however Abdu’l-Baha preferred to be called “Abdu’l-Baha” which means “the Servant of Baha” in reference to His servitude to Baha’u’llah. When Abdu’l-Baha passed away on 28 November 1921, He was eulogized as One who led humanity to the “Way of Truth,” as a “pillar of peace” and the embodiment of “glory and greatness.”
Abdu’l-Baha’s home in Haifa, or the House of the Master as it is lovingly referred to, was where He spent His final earthly hours before He passed away around 1:00 am on November 28th, 1921.
A few days before His passing, His gardener, Isma’il Aqa, recorded the following:
Some time, about twenty days before my Master passed away I was near the garden when I heard him summon an old believer saying:
“Come with me that we may admire together the beauty of the garden. Behold, what the spirit of devotion is able to achieve! This flourishing place was, a few years ago, but a heap of stones, and now it is verdant with foliage and flowers. My desire is that after I am gone the loved ones may all arise to serve the Divine Cause and, please God, so it shall be. Ere long men will arise who shall bring life to the world.” 1
Perhaps you have been blessed with the opportunity to go on pilgrimage and step inside this historic place and view its small gardens but if you have not, we hope that this series of images taken by Negeen Sobhani takes you there for a few quiet moments.
Thank you, Negeen, for sharing these captivating photographs with us. They have allowed me to contemplate in the gardens around the House of the Master and to reflect on the One whose passing we commemorate on the Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha.
Footnotes & Citations
H. M. Balyuzi, Abdu’l-Baha: The Centre of the Covenant of Baha’u’llah, p. 459[↩]
In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.